Sex and the Valley

Kleiner Perkins Partner John Doerr Responds to Gender Discrimination Suit

"It is not easy to stand by as false allegations are asserted against the firm."
 Kleiner Perkins Partner John Doerr Responds to Gender Discrimination Suit

Mr. Doerr (flickr.com/docsearls)

Longtime Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers partner John Doerr took to the KPCB blog this evening to defend the firm against the allegations lobbed at him by partner Ellen Pao, who in her suit claims that KPCB incubates a systemic culture of sexual discrimination.

Mr. Doerr staunchly defends his firm against Ms. Pao’s allegations, writing:

The last several days have been a difficult time for me and my partners at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a firm I’m proud to have been a part of for 32 years. It is not easy to stand by as false allegations are asserted against the firm, especially because legal constraints prevent us from responding fully at this time. But we have been heartened to hear from so many people – including many women – who have reached out to convey their support….In the end, facts – not unfounded claims – will determine the outcome of the suit filed against us. We will vigorously defend our reputation and are confident we will prevail.

Mr. Doerr also touts the firm’s “pioneering track record in diversity,” saying that KPCB has a dozen women partners, the most of any leading venture capital firm.

It is interesting to note that Mr. Doerr directly addresses the gender discrimination issues raised in Ms. Pao’s suit, but does not comment on the other allegations–namely, Ajit Nazre’s alleged sexual harassment of Ms. Pao. The suit states that Ms. Pao discussed Mr. Nazre’s inappropriate behavior with Mr. Doerr several times, and requested to move from the Greentech group where Mr. Nazre was managing her, but Mr. Doerr declined.

Kleiner Perkins has yet to legally respond to the suit. They have until June 13th to do so.

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