Greg Spence, CEO of board game accessory manufacturer The Broken Token, announced on Sept. 2 that he is stepping down from that role. The change in leadership follows accusations that he sexually abused and harassed a former employee — accusations that Spence disputes.
Reached for comment, a spokesperson for The Broken Token told Polygon that Spence will nonetheless retain ownership of the company he founded in 2013. Alongside his announcement, Spence said that 13 of the company’s 23 employees have been laid off.
“I want to apologize,” Spence said on Twitter, “for the pain and suffering I caused her,” referring to Ashley Taylor, a former employee of The Broken Token. Spence went on the characterize their relationship as inappropriate, but consensual. He also indicated that another accusation of impropriety with an employee has since come to light.
“I know that my mistakes through my past actions with Ms. Taylor and one other employee may require everyone involved to relive these uncomfortable episodes,” Spence continued. “It also compelled many of our publishing partners to discontinue their licensing agreements with The Broken Token. To all, I take full responsibility, offer my profound apologies, and promise to continue to learn from them. I fully understand that I created this crisis for myself and those about whom I care.”
I want you to be the first to hear from me directly about the latest developments stemming from Ashley Taylor's https://t.co/SUvpQnstus article that she posted on August 18. pic.twitter.com/Z9uel5NAVO— The Broken Token (@tbt_gaming) September 2, 2021
A spokesperson confirmed for Polygon that the 13 layoffs mentioned by Spence are a result of revenue lost due to publishing partners ending prior agreements.
“As Greg indicated in his statement,” said a spokesperson, “many of The Broken Token publishing partners discontinued their licensing agreements with the company in light of the recent events. This required Greg and the leadership team to reduce staff. He expressed in the statement that it pained him to make this decision. Greg also mentioned that the company would continue providing health benefits to the affected team members through September 30 and access to services through our Employee Assistance Program and San Diego-based workforce support nonprofit organizations.”
Kelsey Royer will be taking over the role of CEO at The Broken Token.
“Kelsey will introduce some new initiatives in the coming months that will grow The Broken Token to new heights,” wrote Spence. “I look forward to supporting her in this new role as she sees fit.”