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STARTUP

Tracking Alleged Misconduct in the Startup World

This list, which will be updated periodically, includes venture capitalists, executives, and other powerful people who have been accused of sexual misconduct.

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BY Sophie Downes - 27 Jan 2018

PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images

Since the New York Times published its investigation into Harvey Weinstein in early October, dozens of high-profile men across multiple industries have been accused of sexual misconduct. In the tech and startup worlds, however, the cascade of allegations began months earlier.

In February, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler wrote a bombshell blog post alleging systemic sexism. Since then, 14 venture capitalists, executives and other powerful people in Silicon Valley and beyond have been fired or resigned. Dates indicate when the alleged sexual misconduct was first reported, or when the resignation or firing was announced.

Shervin PishevarCo-founder of venture capital firm Sherpa Capital and transportation company Virgin Hyperloop One

>December 1, 2017What he's accused of: Unwanted sexual advances toward six women. Arrested on rape accusation in May; released without chargesWhat his response was:Denies misconduct; is suing a PR firm that he says is spreading defamatory claimsWhat's happened since:Took a leave of absence from both companies and other company boards; resigned from SherpaSources: Bloomberg, New York Times, Forbes, Business Insider, USA Today

Andy Rubin Former Google executive (creator of Android), founder of smartphone startup Essential and venture capital firm Playground Global

>November 29, 2017What he's accused of:Inappropriate relationship with a female subordinate at Google, which she reported to HR. Google investigated in 2014What his response was:A Rubin spokesman said: "Any relationship that Mr. Rubin had while at Google was consensual and did not involve any person who reported to him," and that Google never told Rubin he had engaged in misconductWhat's happened since:Left Google in 2014 after the investigation, took a leave of absence from Essential in November 2017 "for personal reasons" but returned less than two weeks laterSources: New York Times, Fortune, USA Today, TechCrunch, Recode

Russell Simmons Co-founder of Def Jam Recordings and several other businesses and nonprofits

>November 29, 2017What he's accused of:Sexual misconduct toward multiple women, including four allegations of rapeWhat his response was:Apologized for "instances of thoughtlessness in [his] consensual relations" but denies all accusations of nonconsensual sexual behavior What's happened since:Resigned from his businessesSources: New York Times, L.A. Times, Associated Press, CNN

Steve Jurvetson Co-founder of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ)

>October 23, 2017What he's accused of:One woman wrote on Facebook that "predatory behavior" was rampant at DFJ (Jurvetson was not named); the company investigated Jurvetson's behavior and allegedly found a pattern of extramarital affairs but not harassmentWhat his response was:Admitted to questionable behavior in personal relationships, but denies harassment or professional misconduct; says he is "taking legal action against those who defamed me"What's happened since:Resigned; taking a leave from the boards of Tesla and SpaceXSources: Recode, New York Times, USA Today, Business Insider

Robert ScobleBlogger, author, speaker, co-founder of consulting firm Transformation Group

>October 22, 2017What he's accused of:Groping two women, and unwanted advances toward additional womenWhat his response was:Apologized on Facebook for inappropriate behavior, but later wrote a blog post denying sexual harassment, denied saying he would take off the rest of the year, and accused news outlets that broke the story of posting "clickbait" What's happened since:Resigned from Transformation Group and reportedly canceled public appearancesSources: BuzzFeed, TechCrunch, The Verge, USA Today, Robert Scoble

Mike Cagney Co-founder of online lending startup Social Finance (SoFi)

>September 11, 2017What he's accused of:Inappropriate relationships with two female
employees, bragging about sexual conquests at after-hours company
gatherings; a sexual harassment lawsuit filed against SoFi by a former employee accused him of "empowering other managers to engage in sexual conduct in the workplace"What his response was:Denies misconduct, said he resigned because "the combination of HR-related litigation and negative press have become a distraction"What's happened since:Resigned; SoFi is investigating the allegationsWho replaced him:Executive chairman Tom Hutton will serve as interim CEOSources: New York Times, Forbes, Recode, Inc., SoFi

Tom Frangione Chief operating officer at venture capital firm Greylock Partners

>August 3, 2017What he's accused of:Inappropriate relationship with an employee, which the company described as a "significant lapse in judgment"What his response was:Did not respond to requests for commentWhat's happened since:Resigned; company added an HR executive, held training, and formalized its code of conductSources: Bloomberg, Mercury News, Fast Company

Frank ArtaleVenture capitalist at Ignition Partners, former executive at Microsoft and Citrix

>July 12, 2017What he's accused of:Inappropriate conduct toward two anonymous accusers, one of which the company investigated in 2016What his response was:Did not respond to requests for commentWhat's happened since:ResignedSources: Bloomberg, Seattle Times, TechCrunch, Reuters

Marc Canter Startup adviser, serial entrepreneur, co-founder of software company Macromedia

>June 30, 2017What he's accused of:Unwanted sexual advances toward two womenWhat his response was:Apologized and pledged to support women-run startupsWhat's happened since:ResignedSources: New York Times, New York Magazine, Bloomberg, Medium

Chris Sacca Co-founder of venture capital firm Lowercase Capital

>June 30, 2017What he's accused of:Touching a woman's face without consent in a way that made her uncomfortableWhat his response was:Disputes the account of the accuser, but apologized for contributing to a culture that made Silicon Valley "inhospitable" to women and pledged to advocate for women and other underrepresented groups in techWhat's happened since:Retired from venture capital in April 2017 (before the accusation became public)Sources: New York Times, CNBC, CNN, Medium, Business Insider

Dave McClure Co-founder of venture capital firm 500 Startups

>June 30, 2017What he's accused of:Unwanted sexual advances toward at least two womenWhat his response was:Publicly apologized, admitted to harassing multiple womenWhat's happened since:ResignedWho replaced him:Co-founder Christine Tsai will serve as CEOSources: New York Times, Fortune, TechCrunch, Recode, Inc.

Justin Caldbeck Co-founder of venture capital firm Binary Capital

>June 22, 2017What he's accused of:Sexual harassment of six womenWhat his response was:Sent apology emails to accusers and other critics; tweeted in support of the #MeToo movement and Time's "silence breakers" story (then deleted it); spoke at Duke about the dangers of "bro culture"What's happened since:Resigned; company shut downSources: New York Times, Bloomberg, Quartz, Wired

Miki Agrawal Founder of Thinx

>March 20, 2017What she's accused of:Touching and commenting on employees' breasts, describing her sexual exploits and desires to employees, other inappropriate workplace behaviorWhat her response was:Denies misconduct, says the allegations of harassment are "baseless"What's happened since:Stepped down as CEO a week before accusations were reported; Thinx said it commissioned an investigation that found the allegations "had no legal merit"Sources: New York Magazine, Fortune, CNBC, Jezebel, Racked

Amit Singhal Senior vice president of engineering at Uber, previously senior vice president of search at Google

>February 27, 2017What he's accused of:Not disclosing to Uber that he left Google after an allegation of sexual harassment that company executives found "credible"What his response was:Denies harassment; denies that the accusation is why he left GoogleWhat's happened since:ResignedSources: Recode, Quartz, Fortune, Bloomberg, Mercury News

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