Bill Chabaan, the CEO of Creative Edge Nutrition (OTO:FITX
, Stock Forum
) published a rambling partial-apology
on Facebook Thursday morning in the wake of sustained shareholder outrage after he posted the personal name, picture, job and address details of a Twitter critic
of his stock a day prior.
The enigmatic CEO, who has been barred from social media by his board
once before after remarks published in a Stockhouse interview, took to Facebook Wednesday to lash out at Twitter user @WolfOfWeedSt
with a threat that “It will be great to have your trading practices vetted by the SEC.”
The post ended with the now ironic statement, “We are ALL accountable for our actions and words,” followed by a torrent of personal information and pictures of the formerly anonymous user.
Creative Edge Facebook followers who disagreed with the CEO’s actions had their comments deleted and were barred from the page. The offending CEO posts were deleted later in the day when FITX stock began to fall.
‘The Wolf’ told Stockhouse it would be silly for any annoyed investor to use the address information for nefarious means as “Florida is a 'Stand Your Ground' state” and he didn’t “want to have to shoot anyone,” but was shocked that a CEO of a public company would engage in such practices.
Chabaan has not replied to requests for comment.
Amazingly, Chabaan’s apology today showed no regret for his actions and did not appeal to the target of his actions in any positive way. Rather, he showed regret only to shareholders for his ‘unconventional practices’ and how ‘incredibly passionate’ he is for his company, not for the breaches of privacy and threats that have outraged many.
“Good morning shareholders, it is in my humble opinion that yesterday's Facebook postings may have been bold and inexcusable to many,” said the CEO in a 460-word posting. “I apologize to the shareholders for my unconventional practices, but please understand the focus on FITX and Creative Edge Nutrition for the purposes of stock manipulation is not legitimate and we have zero tolerance for such practices. I will defend this company at all costs.”
Rather than admit his actions were wrong, Chabaan used his apology to go on the offensive and reiterate his claims that The Wolf was engaging in stock manipulation when he repeatedly asked on Twitter why FITX stock seemed to see a big sell-off at the open almost every day for several months, a trend that continued Thursday with the company shedding 3.5% in early trading.
The first comment on Chabaan's sorry-not-sorry, from shareholder Craig Poupard, said simply, "Good luck. I'm out."
In the midst of the firestorm yesterday, Seeking Alpha blogger Matt Finston revealed he had been threatened by Chabaan on Facebook
a few months prior, with the CEO telling him “the lawyers already have all your information. They now [sic] your sisters name, your parents name.”
Far from chastened, Chabaan repeated his allegations Thursday, saying, “The important question is as follows ‘when does a CEO respond to false allegations, stock manipulation, racism about the origins of the CEO and certain staff and slurs of indigestible commentary every single day?’" How is it that a social media outlet with thousands of followers host contests [sic] incredibly damaging without ramification. It will not be tolerated!”
Amazingly, as the apology rolled on, Chabaan seemed to reiterate his earlier threats and defend the action of ‘outing’ critics of the company rather than walk them back.
“It is a clear message that you cannot hide behind an avatar. We will ensure you are held responsible for your comments and your actions.”
‘The Wolf’ told Stockhouse Wednesday he was looking into legal ramifications. Early Thursday he posted screenshots of his investment accounts
to Twitter to confirm he holds no position in FITX.
The Twitter hashtags #SackChabaan and #DisBillieve have been generated out of the controversy as has a growing call for Chabaan to resign.
Chabaan vowed in March that his company would have an MMPR approved within 8 to 12 weeks. The company is, as yet, unlicensed and has lost half its value since late April.