Read how Chris Kimball plotted his exit from America’s Test Kitchen:
June – August 2015
- Kimball e-mails IT consultants inquiring about setting up a private Gmail and wanting to ensure it is not on the ATK server or accessible to ATK.
- Kimball e-mails consultant about his wife’s e-mail and ensuring it is deleted from company servers.
August 10, 2015
- Kimball reaches out to IT consultant about securing e-mail addresses of readers of Cook’s Illustrated and Cook’s County print and/or online versions. These have significant and established marketing value.
August 24 – August 29, 2015
- Kimball announces in a senior management meeting that he has been fired and has started a new business. In fact, the board had specifically asked Kimball to continue his involvement in the business, with the same salary and bonuses.
- Eliot Wadsworth, President and Board member of ATK, emails to recap their agreement that afternoon and express ATK’s “deep desire” to retain Kimball’s continued involvement with the company.
- In the following days, Kimball announced his “firing” to individual ATK staff members and started soliciting ATK employees to join his new company.
August – October 2015
- Kimball’s executive assistant reaches out to real estate brokers, claiming to represent ATK, but in reality she is working for Kimball’s planned new company.
September 1, 2015- September 28, 2015
- George Denny, an ATK officer and partner of Kimball’s, expresses concern to Kimball about reports that he is soliciting employees, pointing out that it would be at odds with what Kimball had told him personally, and reminds him that it would also be at odds with his fiduciary and legal duties to the company.
- Kimball, while still an employee and partner at ATK, tells IT consultant he is starting a new company and won’t be coming into the office much.
August — November 2015
- ATK’s PR consultant Deborah Broide advises Kimball to take ATK business contacts and lists (August 28). Consultant (on November 3) forwards Kimball media lists culled from 24 years of ATK’s business.
- Kimball is scanning “hundreds” of ATK recipes, asking IT expert how to organize and store them.