“Project Veritas” founder and CEO James O’Keefe has left the company he founded after a group of his staff reportedly tried to oust him.
O’Keefe was put on paid leave as the organization’s board considered whether they would oust him. Employees had been dissatisfied by O’Keefe’s management and alleged he wasted money and was “outright cruel” to his staff, according to the The Daily Beast.
O’Keefe announced to his staff Monday that he was ousted as CEO and from the board in an emotional 15-minute video.
Exclusive: @JamesOKeefeIII, my friend and former boss at @Project_Veritas, just read his resignation letter to his former team and board members at their Mamaroneck, N.Y. headquarters. James will make his own way—as he always has before. @OANN pic.twitter.com/knOqtFTw7e
— ReporterMcCabe (@NeilWMcCabe2) February 20, 2023
“Throughout my 13 years doing this my mission has evolved,” O’Keefe said in his announcement. “Over the last few weeks I have felt a lot of despair and seen a lot of evil and felt overcome with various emotions.”
“I take away from these the gratitude that I have for many of you, most of you…I reflected upon my appreciation for many of you, what makes this great is because we actually believe in this, we have a passion for this and we have principle.”
O’Keefe’s voice then began to crack as he expressed gratitude for his employees.
“The external threats and pressure inflicted upon myself has been unimaginable,” O’Keefe continued.
“As a former board member told me years ago, Project Veritas will never be stopped from the outside, it will only be because we stopped ourselves,” O’Keefe said. “Prophetic as it may be, that is exactly where we find ourselves in the situation today. A situation where I have been stripped of my authority as CEO and removed from the board of directors, bet you didn’t know that.”
O’Keefe said he has been suspended “indefinitely without compensation,” citing a board memo.
“I don’t know why this has happened or specifically why this has happened suddenly,” O’Keefe continued, adding he has “documentation” of everything.
O’Keefe said since 2010, when he founded the company, he has “been the same person” he’s always been, but added he has not been the most “compassionate leader.”
“Nothing about how I conducted myself over the past 13 years has fundamentally changed, until now, so what has changed in the last 3 weeks? What has changed? The only thing that has changed is that we broke the biggest story in our organization’s history,” he continued, referencing the Pfizer exposé.
“A few days after the Pfizer story, I was informed by an officer of Project Veritas that he would resign unless I step down as CEO. We’ve been having a conflict of vision over fundraising, there were tactical disagreements about the boldness of approach soliciting donations.”
O’Keefe said disagreements boiled over and that O’Keefe told the officer to resign, but when he allegedly refused, O’Keefe fired him. That same day, another officer allegedly called for an emergency board vote to restructure the company.
“It became clear to me in that moment that I would be removed from my position at Project Veritas,” O’Keefe said, adding he was able to stave off the meeting for a few days. O’Keefe said he was eventually subjected to six hours of grievances that included employee concerns about money spent, as well as allegations he stole a sandwich from a pregnant woman at court.
O’Keefe continued to dismiss the allegations before saying he is “confident the reasons” he was ousted “will come to light.”
“Our mission continues on,” he said. “I’m not done.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.