Since the New York Times published its investigation into Harvey Weinstein in early October 2017, 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 2017, former Uber engineer Susan Fowler wrote a bombshell blog post alleging systemic sexism. Since then, 20 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.
January 9, 2019: Brian Wong
Co-founder and CEO of mobile advertising startup Kiip and Inc.com columnist
Accused of: Raping a woman in his hotel room during South By Southwest in March 2016.
His response: In a statement, Wong's lawyer called the accusation "baseless," saying the encounter between the accuser and Wong was consensual and that Wong "acted appropriately at all times."
What's happened since: Kiip asked Wong to take a leave of absence. His scheduled talk at the 2019 South By Southwest festival was canceled. Wong was indicted on sexual assault charges on March 15, 2019.
Who replaced him: Chief Revenue Officer Bill Alena will serve as interim CEO.
September 12, 2018: Scott Gelb
Chief operating officer of Riot Games (Inc.'s 2016 Company of the Year)
Accused of: Touching employees' genitals and buttocks and overall crudeness.
His response: Did not respond to a request for comment.
What's happened since: Was placed on two months of unpaid leave with training after an investigation found some of the accusations credible. Riot Games apologized and pledged to improve diversity, address workplace culture issues, and remove problem employees. Two women later filed a lawsuit alleging systemic gender discrimination and sexual harassment at the company.
October 25, 2018: Richard DeVaul?
"Director of Rapid Evaluation and Mad Science," Alphabet's X division (formerly Google X)
Accused of: Unwanted sexual advances toward a female job applicant, which she reported to Google two years later; a Google HR official said the company investigated and took "appropriate corrective action," but did not say what action was taken.
His response: Apologized in a statement for an "error of judgment."
What's happened since: Resigned. Google CEO Sundar Pichai apologized in a memo to employees and said the company is working to "take a much harder line on inappropriate behavior."
March 19, 2018: Michael Ferro
Board chairman of newspaper publisher Tronc, serial entrepreneur, and investor
Accused of: Unwanted sexual advances toward two female entrepreneurs and inappropriate comments to female employees.
His response: A spokesman said Ferro "has never had a claim filed against him nor a settlement made on his behalf." Ferro has not yet commented on the allegations.
What's happened since: Retired as board chairman shortly before news broke of the allegations, but will remain a shareholder in and paid consultant to the company.
Who replaced him: Tronc CEO Justin Dearborn
March 19, 2018: Alex Fielding
CEO of robotics startup Ripcord
Accused of: Making lewd comments to two employees when they were interns, encouraging inappropriate workplace conversations, and firing employees who complained about the company's culture, including the two former interns and the co-founder who supervised them.
His response: Resigned as CEO, but will stay on as chief product officer and remain on the board of directors.
What's happened since: An internal investigation "did not substantiate all claims that were made," but found instances of inappropriate behavior; the company stated it would institute training and more board oversight to improve company culture.
Who replaced him: The company's board is searching for a new CEO.
February 14, 2018: Lucio Lanza
Managing director of venture capital firm Lanza Tech Ventures
Accused of: Groping and trying to kiss a woman during a flight while apparently drunk, according to the woman's lawsuit.
His response: Did not respond to requests for comment; a spokesperson said Lanza "has no idea of what he is being accused of" and only remembers talking to the woman, a startup founder, about her company.
What's happened since: The woman amended her lawsuit to allege that Lanza made unwanted advances toward additional women; Lanza's attorney called the lawsuit "sensationalist and meritless."
December 1, 2017: Shervin Pishevar
Co-founder of venture capital firm Sherpa Capital
Accused of: Unwanted sexual advances toward six women. Arrested on rape accusation in May 2017; released without charges.
His response: Denies misconduct; sued a PR firm that he said was spreading defamatory claims (later dropped the lawsuit).
What's happened since: Took a leave of absence from both companies and other company boards; resigned from Sherpa.
November 29, 2017: Andy Rubin
Former Google executive (creator of Android), founder of smartphone startup Essential and venture capital firm Playground Global
Accused of: Sexual misconduct toward a female Google employee with whom he had been having an extramarital relationship.?
His response: Denied the allegations, saying in a statement that they were part of a smear campaign by his ex-wife.?
What's happened since: Google investigated and found the woman's claim credible. Rubin left Google in 2014 after the investigation, and was given a $90 million exit package. Google later invested in Playground Global, the VC firm Rubin founded after his departure. Rubin took a leave of absence from Essential in November 2017 "for personal reasons" but returned less than two weeks later.
November 29, 2017: Russell Simmons
Co-founder of Def Jam Recordings and several other businesses and nonprofits
Accused of: Sexual misconduct toward multiple women, including four allegations of rape.
His response: Apologized for "instances of thoughtlessness in [his] consensual relations" but denies all accusations of nonconsensual sexual behavior.
What's happened since: Resigned from his businesses.
October 23, 2017: Steve Jurvetson
Co-founder of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson (DFJ)
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 harassment?.
His response: 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 SpaceX; starting a new venture fund called Future Ventures. DFJ has been renamed Threshold Ventures.
October 22, 2017: Robert Scoble
Blogger, author, speaker, co-founder of consulting firm Transformation Group
Accused of: Groping two women, and unwanted advances toward additional women.
His response: 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 appearances.
September 11, 2017: Mike Cagney
Co-founder of online lending startup Social Finance (SoFi)
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."
His response: Denies misconduct, said he resigned because "the combination of HR-related litigation and negative press have become a distraction."
What's happened since: Resigned, and has launched a new fintech startup called Figure; SoFi is investigating the allegations.
Who replaced him: Former Twitter COO Anthony Noto became CEO in March 2018.
August 3, 2017: Tom Frangione
Chief operating officer at venture capital firm Greylock Partners
Accused of: Inappropriate relationship with an employee, which the company described as a "significant lapse in judgment."
His response: Did not respond to requests for comment.
What's happened since: Resigned; company added an HR executive, held training, and formalized its code of conduct.
July 14, 2017: Kris Duggan
Founder of software company BetterWorks Systems
Accused of: Fostering a workplace culture hostile toward women; drunkenly harassing an employee and assaulting her at a company retreat, according to the employee's lawsuit, which was settled. Another suit by an employee has since been filed alleging harassment, discrimination and retaliation.
His response: Disputes the allegations, but reportedly apologized and promised an investigation; BetterWorks later issued a statement saying an independent investigation found no violation of company policies.
What's happened since: Resigned as CEO and president but remains on the company's board. Company has added training, an alcohol policy and a diversity initiative. Penguin Random House postponed publication of a book co-authored by Duggan, then later released it without his name. He announced in January 2018 that he is launching a new startup.
Who replaced him: Board member Doug Dennerline will be named CEO.
July 12, 2017: Frank Artale
Venture capitalist at Ignition Partners, former executive at Microsoft
Accused of: Inappropriate conduct toward two anonymous accusers, one of which the company investigated in 2016.
His response: Did not respond to requests for comment.
What's happened since: Resigned.
June 30, 2017: Marc Canter
Startup adviser, serial entrepreneur, co-founder of software company Macromedia
Accused of: Unwanted sexual advances toward two women.
His response: Apologized and pledged to support women-run startups.
What's happened since: Resigned.
June 30, 2017: Chris Sacca
Co-founder of venture capital firm Lowercase Capital
Accused of: Touching a woman's face without consent in a way that made her uncomfortable.
His response: 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 tech.
What's happened since: Retired from venture capital in April 2017 (before the accusation became public).
June 30, 2017: Dave McClure
Co-founder of venture capital firm 500 Startups
Accused of: Unwanted sexual advances toward at least two women.
His response: Publicly apologized, admitted to harassing multiple women.
What's happened since: Resigned; the company has given some control and board seats to Abu Dhabi Financial Group. McClure is reportedly raising a new venture fund.
Who replaced him: Co-founder Christine Tsai will serve as CEO.
June 22, 2017: Justin Caldbeck
Co-founder of venture vapital firm Binary Capital
Accused of: Sexual harassment of six women, and creating a "sexist and sexual" workplace environment, according to an employee's updated lawsuit.
His response: 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." Declined to comment on the expansion of the lawsuit.
What's happened since: Resigned; company shut down. VC firm Lerer Hippeau will take over most of the investments in Binary's portfolio and assume its board seats.
Who replaced him: Co-founder Jonathan Teo offered to resign but has stayed on. VC firm Lerer Hippeau will take over the investments in Binary's portfolio and assume its board seats.
March 20, 2017: Miki Agrawal
Founder of underwear company Thinx
Accused of: Touching and commenting on employees' breasts, describing her sexual exploits and desires to employees, other inappropriate workplace behavior.
Her response: 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." The company added an employee handbook, training sessions, and a human resources department to address concerns about company culture. Agrawal still runs a separate startup, Tushy, and will publish a book in 2019.
Who replaced her: Maria Molland Selby became CEO in July 2017.
February 27, 2017: Amit Singhal
Senior vice president of engineering at Uber, previously senior vice president of search at Google
Accused of: Groping a Google employee at an offsite event in 2015.
His response: Denied harassment in 2017; failed to respond to later requests for comment.
What's happened since: Google investigated the allegation in 2016 and found it credible; Singhal resigned and was granted a $45 million severance package, of which he received only $15 million. He resigned from Uber after the Google allegation came to light in February 2017.