EK admits fault for financial issues facing employees and business partners: 'We are committed to fulfilling our financial obligations and regaining your trust'

Update #1: EK's current CEO and founder, Edvard König, has published a statement on the financial issues claimed by contractors, business partners and employees of the liquid cooling company. In which, König admits to delayed payments and a lack of communication, and outlines some corrective measures to attempt to address issues brought to light by various people and outlets.

König suggests that some issues have been rectified since he took over as CEO in February. However, this doesn't appear to have been clear to any of the contractors, suppliers or employees spoken to by Gamers Nexus over the weekend, which suggests there really is a "considerable distance to go", as König mentions in the full statement below.

Here's the full statement from Edvard König, EK's CEO and founder:

Dear Community, Media, and Partners,

First of all, I would like to say that we take this very seriously. It is true that some of EK’s external contractors and business partners have experienced delayed payments. We sincerely apologize for the difficulties this has caused them and the lack of adequate communication.

In February 2024, I, Edvard König, resumed the CEO position to return EK to its respected path. Several issues have already been addressed, including the amended filing of US taxes. We have realigned our focuses while our vision and strategic orientations have remained unchanged. There is still a considerable distance to go, and we immediately began by implementing the following key actions:

  • Communicating openly any delays and uncertainties that affect outstanding payments, starting with those concerning our personnel.
  • Reconciling the relations and communication between all subsidiaries and entities of EK Water Blocks.
  • Improving the transparency and frequency of internal communication with all employees concerning our current situation.
  • Resolving any outstanding overtime work issues of EK employees. Anyone with a claim, please contact us so we can check everything and make things right. For that purpose, we are introducing a dedicated email address: reachout@ekwb.com.

We appreciate the patience and understanding of our community, customers, and partners during this time. We are committed to fulfilling our financial obligations and regaining your trust. Our mission to elevate computers for a better world remains at the forefront of our focus as we move forward.

Thank you all for standing with us as we work through these challenges, just as you have supported EK for over two decades. We are dedicated to making things right and fostering a more responsible company culture.

Update #2: In another statement to PCGN, EK says it has started an investigation into allegations of racism at the company. PCGN says it has seen screenshots of the alleged instances, and has spoken to one ex-employee about their first-hand experience with racism at the company.

"We would like to express that at EK we take all allegations very seriously, and the situation has deeply affected us. We have already started [an] internal investigation about all allegations, and we are going to act according to the results.

"EK fully supports diversity and inclusion among employees. Any actions related to discrimination such as racial, sexual, religious, political, physical or psychological violence are not tolerated in the EK working environment and any EK team member can and should report it to the HR personnel. We have policies and legal actions in place if violations happen, however we can only act if they are reported.

"The mentioned incidents were both handled internally with involved people, and actions were taken. We are encouraging all employees, current or former, that have been directly involved or have witnessed similar case[s] to make an official report about it."

What's not clear from the statement is whether the investigation has already concluded, and actions have been taken, or still is in the process of being investigated. The statement does not make this clear. Nor did these allegations see any reference in the EK CEO's previous, and more widely circulated, statement.

Original story: EKWB is the subject of a new report from Gamers Nexus claiming the liquid cooling component and prebuilt PC company is struggling to pay its bills, suppliers and employees. The report arrives off the back of a LinkedIn post by a former employee alleging various issues around the company's conduct.

EKWB is a well-known liquid cooling company headquartered in Slovenia, though it has US operations under EK Cooling Solutions. Dan Henderson, a previous contractor of the company's US branch, created a post on LinkedIn on Thursday claiming they had not been paid in four months.

"I'm hoping that this message gives them the shove they need, they pay up what they owe and more importantly, gets them to rethink the culture they've built," Henderson said in the post.

Gamers Nexus picked up the post and proceeded to investigate further with EK's former and current business partners, contractors and others, none of which are named bar Henderson. The former contractor received a cease and desist letter for their post on the platform, and was ordered to pay €70,000 due to a contractual breach of NDA.

Some entities spoken to by Gamers Nexus allege the company has not paid their wages, including current staff members, by up to four months; having overtime hours "shaved", decreasing the amount of cash paid to them after the work is completed; and that financial issues are not correctly communicated. The video also states that EKWB has a tax forfeiture status in the state of Texas, where it moved operations after a rocky closure process in that state for existing staff, and that there are further signs of "liquidity challenges" at the company, Gamers Nexus suggests.

Other media partners have since cited issues working with EK. YouTuber der8auer has said he will no longer work with the company, initially citing issues with the direct die block that he worked to create with it  for Intel's 12th and eventually 13th Gen processors. However, they suggest they will no longer do business with the company due to the recent claims covered in Gamers Nexus' video. They do not, however, have any outstanding debts with the company for the der8auer brand, though will not speak about the Thermal Grizzly brand, of which they are the CEO.

Other media partners have cited issues when working with the company as well.

Igor from enthusiast website Igor's Lab claimed he has received the run-around from EK's finance department in chasing money owed to him. Since publication of his article, Igor's Lab received payment from EKWB.

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In comment to Gamers Nexus, EK said "EK plans to remain in business and fully get back on its feet, hence the upcoming presence at Computex 2024, for the first time with our own booth.

"There are always two sides to the story. As for Daniel Henderson and his outreach on social media, we are sorry about his reaction. Some reasons for his vendetta are likely linked to previous management figures with whom we parted ways in February 2024. The new management distances itself from the practices of the past."

The company's founder, Edvard König, has assumed the role of CEO, after the previous CEO was removed around the start of the year.

We have spoken to EKWB and have been told it is preparing a statement. We'll update this story if and when we receive it.

Jacob Ridley
Senior Hardware Editor

Jacob earned his first byline writing for his own tech blog. From there, he graduated to professionally breaking things as hardware writer at PCGamesN, and would go on to run the team as hardware editor. Since then he's joined PC Gamer's top staff as senior hardware editor, where he spends his days reporting on the latest developments in the technology and gaming industries and testing the newest PC components.