Apologies and steps to be better

I want to start this out with saying to Gaby that I am sorry. I know that just saying I’m sorry doesn’t fix things, but I am wholeheartedly sorry. I also want to apologize to anyone whom I’ve treated poorly.

Many of you are probably expecting a long post from me, but I don’t think that is the right thing to do today. The focus should be on Gaby and her powerful statement. While I have a different perspective on what she wrote, the core of what she is saying is correct. I brought anger and emotional burden into work situations where I shouldn’t have. That’s awful and inappropriate. She was right to call me out.

Since Gaby left the company, I have spent the last two years in weekly therapy to deal with my anger issues. I feel like there have been significant improvements, and I hope my teammates do too, but the proof can only be in my actions.

To that end, here are the actions I am taking. 

  1. I am taking an unpaid leave of absence from Lone Shark, so that the rest of the team can focus on making games and I can focus on the issues that caused this situation.
  2. I am going to stop posting on social media and appearing in public spaces for some time.
  3. I will step down from all team lead positions and will no longer be involved in our hiring, firing, advancement, and freelance decisions.
  4. I am sticking with therapy—and if there are other things I can find that hold the more positive version of me together, I’ll do them too. 

I know that this is likely not enough to make things right, but it’s a start. Thanks for listening.


Update: Monday, November 15, 2021

I felt Gaby deserved an immediate apology after her post. There are others that also need apologies, but I feel I should not mention them by name without their permission. After I posted my statement, I reached out by text or Messenger to others who’ve made Lone Shark great over the years. Where they give me permission, I’ll post specific apologies to each of them. I will never mention a specific event without the approval of the person impacted.

Marie Poole, CBO and later CEO

I brought Marie into the company to deal with our finances, but it’s not surprising that she stayed on to become our chief business officer. Marie, you see, is my sister. We get each other. Unfortunately, I didn’t foresee that I would be a terrible boss for her, especially when she took on the added title of CEO—though often in name only. I rarely let go of important business matters, thinking I knew best even when it should’ve been clear she had the greater skill set. Then when I could’ve been useful in helping keep the company afloat in tough times, I often abandoned her to do it by herself.

She got the brunt of my anger and the most cutting of my swipes, all while holding down the job I had proven I wasn’t great at when I had it. The fallout from my mishandling of this impacted her career after Lone Shark. That’s something I bear responsibility for. I’m profoundly sorry to my collaborator, friend, and sister, whom I love very much.