‘I’m a creep’: Silicon Valley investor admits to harassment claims in a blog; resigns

The New York Times recently published a story where several women narrated tales of being harassed at their workplace. One such person was Sarah Kunst, an entrepreneur who stated that in 2014 she was unfairly approached by Dave McClure, the co-founder of 500 Startups in Silicon Valley.

By: Trends Desk | New Delhi | Updated: July 4, 2017 6:29 pm
sexual harassment, sexual harassment at silicon valley, dave mcclure accused of sexual harassment, gender inequality at silicon valley, indian express, indian express news In the blog, Dave McClure also added that he is going through counselling. (Source: Twitter)

It is not rare for people in power to take undue advantage of their position. In the recent past there have been instances of both in India and abroad where corporate honchos, such as Arunabh Kumar,  founder-CEO of the The Viral Fever and Uber founder Travis Kalanick, were accused of sexual harassment. In both the cases they stepped down from their respective positions. The latest in line is Dave McClure, the co-founder of 500 Startups in the Silicon Valley, who resigned after a woman revealed some horrific details about his conduct.

On June 30, The New York Times published a story titled ‘Women in Tech Speak Frankly on Culture of Harassment’, in which several women narrated tales of being harassed at the workplace. One such person was Sarah Kunst, an entrepreneur who stated that in 2014 she had discussed potential job opportunities at 500 Startups. She asserted that during the recruiting process, McClure had sent her a Facebook message that, in part, read, “I was getting confused figuring out whether to hire you or hit on you.” Kunst denied his advances and later when she discussed the message with one of McClure’s colleagues, 500 Startups apparently ended its conversations with her.

In the same story, it was also mentioned that after an internal investigation, McClure had decided to resign from his position. However, unlike most such cases, McClure admitted to his misconduct, and in a blog, titled ‘I’m a Creep. I’m Sorry’, he recounted several incidents and said that perhaps he does deserve to be called a “creep”. He even tweeted about his resignation.

In the blog, he admits that in the past he had advances at “multiple” women  in work-related situations, where, he says, “it was clearly inappropriate”. “I put people in compromising and inappropriate situations, and I selfishly took advantage of those situations where I should have known better. My behavior was inexcusable and wrong,” he writes.

With respect to The New York Times article, he apologised to Kunst and provided his side of the story. “I’d like to sincerely apologize for making inappropriate advances towards her several years ago over drinks, late one night in a small group, where she mentioned she was interested in a job at 500. While I did not offer her a job at the time, a few days/weeks later I did refer her to my co-founder Christine Tsai to begin a formal interview process with 500, where Christine and others on the team met with her. Ultimately, 500 decided not to offer Sarah a job. Again my apologies to Sarah for my inappropriate behavior in a setting I thought was social, but in hindsight was clearly not,” he wrote.

He goes on to state that after dwelling on his actions he realised that he was the problem, and not anyone else. “*I* was the problem. I wasn’t full of goodness and light as I thought, and I needed to take a closer look at the stranger in the mirror staring back at me. Somewhere, I had lost the plot,” he stated.

However, in his effort to change himself, McClure writes that he has started counselling. “I don’t expect anyone to believe I will change, but I’m working on it,” he added.

 

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  1. H
    Hindu
    Jul 5, 2017 at 1:47 pm
    What is ual harrassment ? The whole civilized world will crumble down because of the power play of feminists . After that the feminists will encounter true islam .
    Reply
    1. B
      blackpower
      Jul 5, 2017 at 3:27 pm
      ho ho ho - they must be hiring special talents from the saffron stables of nagpore to write such drivel - ROFL ROFL ROFL - another standup comedian who has graduated from the famous nagpore school of RSS - rashtriya school of standupcomedy
      Reply
      1. B
        blackpower
        Jul 5, 2017 at 3:29 pm
        and how civilised is hinduism? that religion whose crown jewel is the caste system - the most heinous of systems, barbaric, heartless and dehumanising that has consigned a section of indian society to enslavement, brutality, r pe, torture, and misery. any religion that enslaves its own and treats them in inhuman fashion is not fit for humanity
        Reply
      2. K
        KeepItHonest
        Jul 4, 2017 at 11:01 pm
        The following statement above is FAKE NEWS: "In the recent past there have been instances of both in India and abroad where corporate honchos, such as Arunabh Kumar, founder-CEO of the The Viral Fever and Uber founder Travis Kalanick, were accused of ual harassment." ........Travis Kalanick of Uber was never ever accused of ual harassment nor was his departure, ual harassment related. Your pathetic journalism is the cause of character asassination. If you were in the US you would have rightly had your sorry sued out of business.
        Reply
        1. C
          Chandrasekhar Punekar
          Jul 5, 2017 at 1:18 am
          How can you blame someone esle for your ignorance? Google "Don’t Let Travis Kalanick Off the Hook for Uber’s ual Harassment Culture" to update yourself. Travis had to resign because he had done nothing about the seksual harassment culture of Uber and under US Law, not taking action against this is as good as abetting it. If this was the US, Travis would not just have had to resign but pay a humongous some if he tried to sue IE. Anyway, he did not sue any of the US news media for accusing him of Uber's seksual harassment culure. He has also indulged in prying into medical records of the Indian woman rap.ed by a Uber diver when he knew he would have been jailed if she were a US citizen
          Reply