Sexual Harassment Complaints Mount in Tech World

Following a number of allegations last week of sexual misconduct, both co-founder Dave McClure and Elizabeth Yin his business partner announced they were leaving the company, but on different terms.

Over the last week, the apparent move toward cultural reformation by Silicon Valley pulled McClure the co-founder of 500 Startups into its fold due to sexual harassment allegations being made public against him from several women within the tech industry.

Over the next few days, McClure did what other tech big shots that were similarly accused of the same, publicly apologizing and stepping down so Christine Tsai the CEO at 500 could take the reins.

However, on Monday 500 Startups was in the news again when a thorough, skin crawling and frank response to the public apology by McClure was released refuting claims he made over the “context” of what took place.

Through a blog post, Cheryl Yeoh a founder and entrepreneur explained how McClure once attempted to increase her pace of drinking during a party she hosted, lingered after guests had left and finally pleaded and attempted to force his way to being intimate with her, even as she protested due to having a boyfriend he knew of.

Yeoh noted as well that she had agonized over bringing to light the incident that has haunted her the last three years and thought that she would not have to due to allegations brought against McClure in a national newspaper.

However, she realized from the apology that he subsequently made and his behavior that the message did not land where it should have.

Yeoh’s allegations appear to align with the references made in an email by Yin. The email to the staff was verified and announced the resignation of Yin effective Friday. She explained that she was leaving because she no longer could be a part of the organization.

She added that actions that have been undertaken by 500 deviated from the original mission and she could no longer represent the organization.

Yin in the letter explained how one of her friends told her of a serious complaint that was against McClure and how her hope initially was that it would, along with other claims be addressed but that hope faded of recent.

The letter by Yin amongst other things suggests that the leadership at the company had not informed the staff that the change in CEO was due to sexual assault or harassment allegations against McClure.