Jan 6 2017
04:35 pm

Don't get me wrong. I am a total fan of Greg LeMond. Starting businesses and brands can involve some strange bedfellows if everyone doesn't keep their eyes open.

After a lot of hoopla LeMond Composites appears headed for some bumpy road. The LeMond brand has been troubled for many years, even though Greg LeMond is still widely respected as a cycling legend. Hiring Connie Jackson seemed like a good idea. She knows the business. But two months later she signed a non compete agreement and then was terminated just over a month after that. There will be a lot to this that we will never be privy to so keep open minds about everything.

From the Roane County News(subscription):

Jackson was fired as chief executive officer of LeMond Companies on Dec. 9.

The firing came less than two months after the pair got together with local, state and federal officials to announce the creation of 242 new jobs in Roane County.

Jackson, who lives in Harriman, responded to the firing by filing a federal lawsuit against Greg LeMond, LeMond Companies, LeMond Composites, Nicolas Wegener and Alex Jacome.

Jackson claims she was used, not paid, had phone calls recorded without her consent and duped into signing an employment agreement and non-compete agreement.

“Pursuant to the employment agreement, if the company terminated Connie’s employment for any reason other than for ‘just cause,’ she was entitled to severance payments equal to one year’s base salary, which is defined as $300,000 per year,” the lawsuit said. “Since the termination of her employment, Connie has not been paid any amount of severance.”

The lawsuit also said Jackson was supposed to have been paid an $80,000 signing bonus in two $40,000 installments.

“To date, the company has not paid the first installment of $40,000,” the lawsuit said.

Interestingly, Connie Jackson is still listed as CEO on the Lemond website. That is NOT the hallmark of a company that has its act together:

The future of carbon fiber is here and at LeMond Composites, exciting developments are taking place.

LeMond now owns a breakthrough process that will reduce production costs by more than 50% relative to the lowest cost Industrial grade carbon fiber. Incredibly this new carbon fiber has the mechanical properties of carbon fiber costing three times as much. Until now, manufacturing carbon fiber was an extremely energy-intensive process. This new method reduces energy consumed during production by up to 60%...

“We can provide the advantages of our carbon fiber to many industries by improving strength, stiffness, and weight reduction. If you imagine replacing steel, aluminum, and fiberglass with our carbon fiber, you begin to understand the scope of the potential market,” said Connie Jackson, CEO of LeMond Composites. “Our process will have global applications and we are ready to move forward with scaling the technology.”

Lemond has a troubled past with his attempts at creating a cycling brand. This doesn't necessarily mean anything by itself. Companies and brands are tough to get going and keep going. Add in that he was involved with Trek and got dismissed for claiming Lance Armstrong was using performance enhancing drugs, of all things, which it turns out he was(as were pretty much all the other top cyclists at the time).

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