Red 5 Studios’ board of directors has voted to oust Mark Kern from his role as CEO, effective immediately, according to a report from Game Front on what is allegedly a leaked internal email sent to all Red 5 employees.
The email, signed by Red 5 VP of development James Macauley, gives no explanation for removing studio co-founder Kern from both the CEO position and his spot on the board, but does acknowledge that the company will be scrambling to cover his responsibilities and that his ouster marks a “significant change” to the company.
No information is available about how Kern's departure might affect work on Firefall, the studio's flagship title.
If true, this marks the latest in a long series of troubling changes to the company, which was founded back in 2005 by Kern and other former World of Warcraft developers.
The studio partnered with Korean publisher Webzen in 2006 to launch Firefall, but underwent multiple rounds of layoffs in the years since, most notably in January 2010 and again in September of this year. Firefall continues to operate in open beta, though Red 5 shut down the player-vs-player mode in September.
Gamasutra has reached out to both Kern and Red 5 for comment on the situation, and we'll report back with any further details.