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Another silicon valley leader resigns over harassment

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Another Silicon Valley leader resigns over harassment

So far this year, the news coming out of Silicon Valley has been heavily flavored with public relations problems.

https://medium.com/@robertgillings/another-silicon-valley-leader-resigns-over-harassment-ca8e8f217dc4

Veröffentlicht in: Business
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Another silicon valley leader resigns over harassment

  1. 1. Another Silicon Valley leader resigns over harassment So far this year, the news coming out of Silicon Valley has been heavily flavored with public relations problems. While there has been some success, there has also been a steady series of scandals and resignations over the tech industry monster that just won’t die: sexual harassment. The latest big name to give up a powerful post after being hit with a sexual harassment allegation is bigtime Silicon Valley investor Dave McClure. According to a report in the New York Times, McClure “acted inappropriately” toward Sarah Kunst, a prospective employee at 500 Startups back in 2014. After she applied for the job, McClure sent Kunst a Facebook message saying, in part: “I was getting confused figuring out whether to hire you or hit on you…” Since news of the incident dropped, McClure offered to resign from 500 Startups, which he cofounded. But that didn’t stop the
  2. 2. bleeding, especially for his personal brand. After the news broke, 500 Startups cofounder Christine Tsai released a statement admitting the company had been “aware of (McClure’s) inappropriate interactions with women in the tech community…” After these “interactions,” whatever they were, Tsai took over as CEO and McClure moved over to general partner in the firm. McClure acknowledged the revelation, saying he had in fact, “made advances toward multiple women in work-related situations where it was clearly inappropriate … I don’t expect anyone to believe I will change, but I’m working on it…” That “working on it” includes McClure attending counseling in order to try to rein in his inappropriate behavior. But this wasn’t enough for at least some of the company’s financial backers. CNN quoted some limited partners in the company who tweeted out their displeasure with the situation. Mitch Kapor said: “We found out in the NYT. Not good.” This comment was followed by the assertion that he may consider trying to get some of his investment returned. Matthew Papakipos said McClure should be removed as general partner: “No more (money) from me. Please spread the word…” The series of tweets that included these messages was shortly followed by McClure’s reply tweet: “In the best interest of 500 Startups and at request of cofounder Christine Tsai, I am resigning effective immediately. Please support Christine.” Kapor’s response to this didn’t just address McClure, it threw a wide net over the entire industry: “The events of 2017 in the tech ecosystem depict a sector gone deeply awry. This is not a case of a few bad actors. This is a culture that has been allowed to fester and
  3. 3. to rot by enablers who refused to intervene…” For at least this investor, McClure’s resignation was yet another teachable moment. Which begs the question, is anything being learned in all of this? Robert Gillings is an award winning writer, producer, actor architectural designer, philosopher and financial consultant.

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