PulteGroup’s Brandon Jones was fired amid Bill Bolte’s Twitter claim
PulteGroup, one of the nation’s largest homebuilders formerly based in Detroit, said Friday it had fired its new chief operating officer in the wake of allegations that he harassed the grandson of the company’s founder on Twitter.
The company announced that Brandon Jones, who would have started as COO in January, “has been terminated and will be leaving the company, effective immediately.” The company’s statement said Jones’ departure followed an “independent investigation” that he violated PulteGroup’s code of ethical business conduct.
On Tuesday, Jones, who was senior vice president of field operations at PulteGroup, was sued by Bill Bolte, 34, the grandson of late Bolte Homes founder William J. Bolte. The lawsuit accused Jones of hating the younger Bolt and using multiple false identities on Twitter to harass him and other Bolt family members.
Bill Bolt lived in Metro Detroit until recently and is known as a pioneer of “Twitter philanthropy”.
more:Bolte’s grandson is suing PulteGroup exec, alleging Twitter phishing
He has 3.2 million followers on the platform and regularly gives money to people who message him and helps raise money for other individuals in need, including survivors and victims of the school shooting earlier this year in Uvalde, Texas.
Bolte says he opposed a previous proposal by PulteGroup CEO Ryan Marshall to promote Jones to chief operating officer while he was on the company’s board from 2016 to 2020. That October, with Bolte exiting the board, the company announced Jones will become executive vice president and chief operating officer effective January 1.
Bolt’s suit alleges that Jones used several alternate Twitter accounts under fictitious names to harass and defame him, including the now-defunct @GoDetroitWin, and sometimes used two synonymous accounts to give the illusion of a conversation between different people.
Jones could not immediately be reached for comment Friday morning and did not respond to a message left for him earlier in the week via the company.
Some of the dissenting tweets suggested, without evidence, that Bill Bolt’s father, Mark Bolt, was somehow responsible for the devastating February fire at the Oakland Hills Country Club.
PulteGroup is not a party to Pulte’s suit, though the lawsuit alleged that Jones used the company’s time and possibly company equipment to carry out the alleged Twitter campaign, which may have violated the company’s code of ethics.
Boltt said after the lawsuit was filed that the Boltt Group engaged a law firm to investigate Jones’ behavior, despite claiming the company had existing relationships with the company and questioning its impartiality.
PulteGroup began in Detroit in the 1950s and moved its headquarters to Atlanta from Bloomfield Hills in the mid-2010s, a move opposed by the Pulte family.
Bill Pult, who also runs his own private equity firm, said he no longer owns any stock in PulteGroup.
William J. Bolt passed away in 2018 at the age of 85. The suit says Bill Bolt was his only descendant who received an inheritance.
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