Guggenheim claims OpenTV severance left unpaid

Former OpenTV CEO Alan Guggenheim has claimed his former employer has withheld severance payments following his departure from the company in August 2007.

According to filings placed by OpenTV with the US Securities and Equities Commission, Guggenheim made his initial complaint in November 2007. The middleware provider responded that it intended to meet all the pay and benefits due to him under his employment agreement.

The following month OpenTV was notified by the US Department of Labor that Guggenheim had filed a complaint claiming he had been dismissed after reporting conduct he alleged to be illegal or unethical and claiming damages fees and costs.

OpenTV has subsequently filed a written statement with the Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration denying all of the allegations. “We believe Mr Guggenheim’s allegations are without merit and intend to defend ourselves vigorously in any administrative proceedings and in any subsequent legal proceedings that may be filed by Mr Guggenheim,” the company said in its SEC filing.

Guggenheim was initially brought in by the conditional access firm Nagravision following its acquisition of the company. Nagravision accounted for 13% of OpenTV’s business in the six months to June 30, 2008. BSkyB accounted for 18% of total revenues, underlining the importance of Europe, the Middle East and Africa to OpenTV. MultiChoice Africa increased its contribution by $0.6 million ahead of its HD launch.