This sounds a heck of a lot more likely: internal strife between the brand new boss and a cranky staffer who has been around for 10 years. Boss finds a way to get rid of long-term staffer. Boss should have covered his tracks better.
"However, the source did speculate that disagreements between Gertsmann and VP of games Josh Larson may have been the root cause of the former being terminated. Larson, successor to former editor in chief Greg Kasavin, was described as out of touch with the employees who report to him. The VP is the one allegedly responsible for telling Gamespot editorial staff that it was Gerstmann's "tone" that was at the heart of his dismissal."