The CEO of Scottish beer giant BrewDog, James Watt, has hired private investigators to obtain information on people he believes are creating a smear campaign against him, The Guardian has revealed.
According to private investigators, Watt has requested information on people such as Rob McKay, a former BrewDog employee who featured in the BBC’s documentary – The Truth About BrewDog.
The documentary included 12 former BrewDog USA staff who have alleged inappropriate behaviour and abuse of power in the workplace by Watt. Claims include female bartenders feeling “powerless” and “uncomfortable” around the CEO.
A former colleague of McKay’s told the Guardian he was visited by two ex-policemen working for a company named Integritas Investigative Solutions, asking “how well he knew Rob” and “how it compared to his experiences in BrewDog.”
The investigative company also visited a friend of a former acquaintance of Watt, asking for details of their discussions after Watt became convinced she was behind online allegations about him that appeared on social media.
Additionally, the unnamed friend reportedly received several messages from Watt stating he had “extensive evidence from multiple sources of what you and others have been doing” and warned he could use legal action. She later blocked Watt from social media after she denied his claims.
“James Watt has been subjected to a two-year criminal campaign of online harassment, defamation, fraud, blackmail and malicious communications, instigated by a very small group of individuals…” a BrewDog spokesperson said.
“As a result of those investigations, our lawyers are pursuing a private criminal prosecution for fraud and malicious communications in a court in London, there are related civil proceedings underway in Scotland and other matters have been reported to the police.”
Integritas added it has “uncovered evidence of a very clear criminal campaign, organised by a small group of individuals seemingly intent on causing harm to Mr Watt and BrewDog.”
Grocery Gazette has contacted BrewDog for further comment.