Bill Weinstein Sues Verve to Be Reinstated as CEO

The former executive claims Bryan Besser and Adam Levine conspired to oust him from the agency they cofounded in 2010

Bill Weinstein attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards
Bill Weinstein attends the 88th Annual Academy Awards (Credit: Randy Shropshire/Getty Images)

Bill Weinstein, cofounder and former CEO of talent and literary agency Verve, sued the company over his departure, accusing fellow cofounders Bryan Besser and Adam Levine, who are also named in the complaint, of conspiring to oust him from the agency.

Claiming breach of contract, Weinstein’s lawsuit demands he be reinstated at the agency.

Filed Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, Weinstein claimed the agency cofounders fired him after he submitted a private, mandated letter to the men in an attempt to discuss a “myriad of issues on which management was deadlocked,” including “necessary personnel and administrative matters such as the Board composition and officer compensation.”

The memo led to 15 days of dispute resolution procedures. Weinstein said he found himself at a crossroads at the beginning of the year as the company hadn’t finalized new compensation packages for members, despite Verve having an objective to reformulate membership compensation. Instead of discussing the matter, the suit claimed Besser and Levine “raced to execute their coup d’état, preemptively stopping Weinstein from addressing any of the disputed matters through negotiations with members and/or managers and circuiting the required dispute resolution procedures set forth in the operating Agreement.”

Weinstein claimed the men responded by ignoring the due process and conspiring with one another to oust him “without any notice, reason, cause or an opportunity to cure.” In addition, Weinstein alleged that Besser and Levine leaked the story to media outlets just 20 minutes after he was fired.

According to court documents obtained by TheWrap, Weinstein believes Besser and Levine’s actions were done in poor faith. As part of the suit, he wants a court order to block Verve’s termination and reinstate his position of CEO until the issue is resolved in court.

Weinstein also filed for an ex parte temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction on Thursday, requesting that he return to work provisionally until the dispute can be resolved, as per their founding documents.

“This is clearly an attempt by Mr. Weinstein to cover up the conduct that led to his termination for cause,” Besser and Levine’s attorney Julie Gerchik said in a statement to media. “His demand to be reinstated at Verve is perplexing in light of his efforts, as reported in the press, to try to start a small agency of his own.”

Verve leadership announced Weinstein’s exit from the agency on Feb. 19.

“We thank Bill as a cofounder and for his 14 years of service and wish him nothing but success in his future,” the message read.

Weistein started the company alongside Levine and Besser in 201o. After WME was acquired by Endeavor in 2009, the three men left to launch the agency. Weinstein became the CEO of Verve in January 2023.

Two days after his Verve ouster, Weinstein started another agency with former Verve agents Devon Schiff, Matthew Doyle and Jake Dillman.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.


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