Top executives who resigned owing to harassment charges
The pervasive incidents of sexual harassment charges against top executives of popular companies have taken media by storm recently. In the past few months, we saw many such exits from known companies both Indian and global. People Matters lists down names of such top executives who were charged with sexual harassment charges:
Dave McClure co-founder of 500 Startups
Latest in the string of alleged sexual harassment cases comes the news of Dave McClure’s resignation, who is the co-founder of early-stage venture capital fund 500 Startups. The Silicon Valley investor had to step down after the spate of allegations made by several women who claimed that he harassed them. According to media, he had shown inappropriate conduct towards entrepreneur, Sarah Kunst and founder Cheryl Yeoh. His resignation came days after the New York Times reported that he had sent improper messages to a female entrepreneur seeking a job at the fund. Followed by that Cheryl Yeoh, a founder whose company had been funded by 500 Startups, wrote in a blog that McClure made inappropriate sexual advance towards her. McClure wrote in a blog post that “I’m a creep. I’m sorry.” He even apologized and admitted having improper interactions with women at work. Later, he announced on Twitter his resignation.
David Bonderman Director of Uber
Another shocking exit for Uber recently - David Bonderman, Uber director resigned after making a sexist remark during the Uber staff meeting which focused on discussing company’s transformation after a probe into sexual harassment at the company. The remark was considered as offensive to women during the staff meeting. As per media reports, while Uber board member, Arianna Huffington was speaking about the importance of adding more women to the board, David Bonderman spat out his comments in response. Huffington said, “There’s a lot of data that shows when there’s one woman on the board, it’s much more likely that there will be a second woman on the board.” To this David Bonderman responded, “Actually, what it shows is that it’s much more likely to be more talking.” Later on Bonderman gave a statement in an email that his comments were careless, inappropriate, and inexcusable and his comments came across opposite to what was intended.
Eric Alexander, Asia Pacific business head of Uber
People Matters reported in June that Uber’s APAC head, Eric Alexander has been terminated on account of obtaining medical records of India rape victim on the pretext of investigation whether it was a ploy set up by their competitor Ola to sabotage their reputation, as per media reports. The decision to terminate Eric was taken after two law firms Perkins Coie and Covington & Burling discovered that he has accessed medical records of the woman raped by Uber driver in India. The two law firms are leading the investigation related to sexual harassment claims against Uber. Reportedly, Eric Alexander has also shown the medical records to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and SVP Emil Michael. What was worse – he carried the document and records with him for about a year. The legal department has obtained his copy and destroyed it.
Arunabh Kumar, CEO of the TVF
In the month of June - People Matters reported, Arunabh Kumar had quit as the CEO of the TVF (The Viral Fever) on account of alleged sexual harassment charges against him. In his Twitter account, he says that the last few months were very challenging for him – that has mentally and emotionally drained him. He also adds that he will be available as the mentor for the content team as he hands over the reins to Dhawal Gusain who has sharp business acumen and will work tirelessly to scale TVF to greater heights. Dhawal Gusain has taken up as the new CEO of the company. He has been with the company since 2015 and was working as Chief Operating Officer of the firm. He has taken up various leadership and management roles across sectors and in all has over a decade of experience.
A lot has been said and made out of the entire saga revolving around the spate of allegations on Arunabh Kumar (Founder and CEO, The Viral Fever). One of the critical takeaways for small, growing organizations from this episode was the need to take the possibility of sexual harassment at their workplaces, seriously. As startups commence their operations grow, they get so immersed with the goals of expansion that they neglect upholding of the fundamentals of the organization.