Silicon Valley says it’s committed to improving range, but excessive-profile male executives accused of sexual misconduct are becoming 2nd probabilities. Some advocates are questioning why.
In September 2015, Uber added thousands of personnel to Las Vegas for a global all-hands retreat that had all the hallmarks of its infamous tough-charging subculture: drug-fueled events, a non-public overall performance from Beyoncé, and speeches from CEO Travis Kalanick and other executives.
One night in the course of a group trip to a nightclub attended through a handful of personnel from Uber’s Los Angeles workplace, the business enterprise’s LA standard supervisor, Eyal Gutentag, allegedly assaulted a woman subordinate. According to a few people who noticed the incident, a visibly intoxicated Gutentag approached the woman from in the back of, pulled her hair and groped one among her breasts and buttocks. She screamed and quickly separated herself, leading multiple employees to document the incident to Uber’s human assets branch. The employer placed Gutentag on depart and terminated him within per week.
Four months later he had a new task.
In January 2016, HopSkipDrive, a trip-hailing service for youngsters, employed Gutentag as its chief operations officer, touting his “giant operational knowledge” and cultural fit. Later that year, in keeping with his LinkedIn, Gutentag left to enroll in ZipRecruiter, a burgeoning employment job website online that’s valued at extra than a billion bucks, in which he’s now leader advertising and marketing officer.
That Gutentag changed into capable of degree up throughout multiple corporations in the aftermath of sexual misconduct allegations for which he changed into terminated astounded at the least one former Uber coworker. That person, who witnessed the incident and spoke to BuzzFeed News at the situation of anonymity, said it changed into “disheartening” that the alleged sexual battery, which turned into pronounced within the New York Times in February 2017 without Gutentag’s name, changed into quick forgotten and had seemingly few results.
“It’s appalling that’s now not enough to stop his career as a frontrunner,” the man or woman said. Gutentag and Uber declined to remark for this story. HopSkipDrive and ZipRecruiter each declined to touch upon an individual employee’s background.
By exposing men accused of sexual misconduct, the #MeToo movement has derailed careers in enjoyment, better education, and politics, however, its effect inside the technology enterprise has been much less suggested. A range of fellows who have been accused of and admitted to sexual misconduct has reemerged at the scene — now and again within months of allegations surfacing in the public. Many have returned with new startups or mission finances backed by way of traders properly-aware about their beyond conduct.
In tech, the reentry of alleged perpetrators of sexual misconduct raises questions about the actual outcomes of awful conduct and a subculture willing to appearance the opposite way when there’s money to be made on a tested winner. These comebacks also shed light on the practices within the notably competitive tech industry — from using non-disparagement agreements to the repeated backing of so-referred to as improper geniuses — that defend the ones accused of past sexual misconduct.
“I do not assume any folks have executed the paintings to welcome accused harassers returned into our community,” stated Ellen Pao, who lost a high-profile gender discrimination case against challenge company Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 2015 and has for the reason that comes to be an advice for range in tech. “We have no longer repaired the harm, lots of them have now not mentioned the damage that they have done, and simply as importantly, we haven’t figured out the way to save you it from happening once more.”
Though a few men including Binary Capital’s Justin Caldbeck, whose alleged harassment of women marketers kicked off a wave of reporting on sexual misconduct in tech in 2017, continue to be cut off from the enterprise, there had been more than one comebacks of excessive-profile tech executives this year. Mike Cagney, the former CEO of Social Finance (SoFi) who left in September 2017 after conducting multiple beside the point relationships with employees and allegedly overseeing a company lifestyle of rampant sexual misconduct, introduced in February that his new home fairness startup has secured a complete of $120 million in investment. One former Google government, whose advances on a task candidate at Burning Man have been mentioned past due last year, is now the chief technology officer at a startup less than four months after leaving the hunt and advertising large.
While disturbing for a few within the industry, these comebacks are hardly ever surprising, stated Brittany Laughlin, a partner at Lattice Ventures who’s written about improving ladies’ illustration in tech. The motion to show predatory behavior turned into in no way targeted on punishment, she added, and you couldn’t stop a person from running once more. For all the talk of tech being a meritocracy, Silicon Valley has an extended and storied history of protective its very own, horrific conduct be damned.
“Bad actors who’ve had achievement within the past, even at the fee of breaking the rules, would higher fit the tech [way of] thinking that a person who’s never constructed an organization before or run a fund,” stated Laughlin.