Business

Zeeshan Zaidi, Stephen Mead Out at Ticketmaster Following Songkick Hacking Allegations

Ticketmaster
Courtesy Photo

Ticketmaster

Two individuals at the center of hacking allegations in a recent lawsuit filed by Songkick have left Ticketmaster.

Officials with the company have confirmed to Billboard that Zeeshan Zaidi, senior vp and general manager of its OnTour fan club ticketing platform, is no longer working at Ticketmaster. Neither is Stephen Mead, ‎director of client relations & artist services at Ticketmaster since 2015. From 2010 to 2012, Mead worked at CrowdSurge, a company Songkick acquired in June 2015. Zaidi did not respond to a request for comment and Mead couldn't immediately be reached.

Both men were named earlier this year in Songkick's ongoing lawsuit with Ticketmaster alleging antitrust violations, anticompetitive behavior and intentional interference. In February, Songkick filed an amended complaint in U.S. District Court in California alleging that Mead used old logins, passwords and knowledge of Crowdsurge to access their computer systems and view confidential information. Mead allegedly funneled that information to Zaidi, who was hired to improve Ticketmaster's Artist Services division.

According to filings in the lawsuit from Songkick's attorneys, the FBI has contacted Songkick and is investigating the incident -- an FBI spokesperson said the agency could not confirm or deny an investigation was taking place. 

In a February filing, Songkick attorney's claim Mead took as many as 85,000 documents with him when he left the company in 2012, including "a suite of proprietary service offerings; financial information, such as ticket sales, merchandise revenues, quarterly profitability and forecasts of various kinds; cost and pricing data; customer information; and other non-public information of economic value."

The suit also alleges that Zaidi encouraged Mead to "use his knowledge of CrowdSurge’s internal systems to improperly access those systems for purposes of monitoring CrowdSurge’s potential and actual artist-clients, staying abreast of what CrowdSurge was doing and, ultimately, to 'cut [CrowdSurge] off at the knees.'"

Ticketmaster and Songkick are set to go to trial in the nearly two-year-old case in November.