San Francisco 49ers CEO Jed York broke his silence on the insider-trading allegations against him that recently surfaced. York described the legal actions being taken based on the accusations as “completely frivolous.”
“It’s 18 months old. It’s a completely frivolous lawsuit,” York told NBC Sports Bay Area ahead of Saturday’s preseason game between the 49ers and the Broncos.
York also suggested the lawsuit was an attempt at a shakedown. “I think they’re grasping at straw to bring this out publicly now,” he said.
The two lawsuits, field by shareholders, claim York engaged in acts of financial impropriety when he served on the board of Chegg Inc, a California-based online education platform. The company is under fired for allegedly assisting students in cheating during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other boards members are also being accused of covering up the cheating scandal, according to a report from the San Francisco Chronicle.
The pair of lawsuits state that York executed insider stock deals based on “nonpublic information,” which showed “his motive in facilitating and participating in the scheme.”
“I’m proud of our work with Chegg, proud of my work on the board and with its scholarship program,” York added. “I have no doubt this will be taken care of in no time.”
York joined the Chegg Inc. board of directors in 2013, the same year the company debuted on the New York Stock Exchange. The 49ers announced a multi-year partnership with Chegg in 2019.
As schools were shutdown in 2020 at the onset of the pandemic, Chegg experience a spike in demand for its services. Revenues increased by approximately 50% between the first quarter of 2020 to the second quarter of 2021, per the lawsuit. Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig and others were also accused of breaching their fiduciary duties to shareholders.
York has worked in the Niners front office for almost two decades. He is the son of 49ers co-owner Denise DeBartolo York and co-chairman Dr. John York.
York declined to comment on one of he 49ers most pressing on-field matters — the quarterback situation. The team’s current depth chart currently lists Trey Lance and Sam Darnold as backups to Brock Purdy.
York did express confidence in head coach Kyle Shanahan and general manager John Lynch’s abilities to handle important roster decisions.