Sex and the Valley

Ellen Pao: I’m Not Quitting Kleiner Perkins

Ms. Pao (

Ellen Pao has broken her silence to issue a short statement regarding her position at Kleiner Perkins, the firm she is suing for gender discrimination–on Quora, of all places. (Quora: a publicist’s nightmare?)

On a question asking if she had left the firm following her lawsuit, Ms. Pao wrote the following simple yet powerful statement: “No, and I don’t plan to quit.” The answer received over 250 upvotes, primarily from bloggers and techies, as well as 13 comments. Of note is one comment from 500 Startups cofounder and prominent VC Dave McClure, who responded with a strong gesture of support. “Hang in there ellen :),” he wrote, and 24 people upvoted it. Read More

Sex and the Valley

Randy Komisar on the State of Women in Venture Capital

Mr. Komisar.

Sexism in the venture capital industry is insidious, systemic and subtle. Randy Komisar, a partner at Kleiner Perkins, said as much in a July 2010 interview posted on YouTube:

There are not enough women in venture capital today. Venture capital tends to be clubby in the sense that you tend to have confidence and trust and perhaps better communication with people that you feel more like than people you feel less like. And that applies across gender as well. Read More

Sex and the Alley

Anti-Feminist Bombthrower Amity Shlaes Tells Women VCs to Shut Up and Smile

Ms. Shlaes. (

Conservative opinionater, provacateur and frequent feminist-offender Amity Shlaes writes at Bloomberg yesterday that “women win in venture capital when they don’t sue.” Seeing as how women have been not suing for years, and by our count 35 out of the 71 largest venture capital firms in the U.S. have all male partners, we’re not sure the logic holds up. Read More

Sex and the Valley

Here Is the Complaint Ellen Pao Filed in California Before She Sued Kleiner Perkins for Sexism

Ms. Pao.

In her gender discrimination lawsuit against managers at Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers, junior partner Ellen Pao didn’t seem to be holding back. But a complaint she filed with the state of California first includes some accusations that never made it into the lawsuit.

Betabeat obtained a copy of the complaint, which Ms. Pao filed with the California Dept. of Fair Employment and Housing a month before her discrimination lawsuit was filed. The complaint requested an immediate right-to-sue, a standard procedure in California in which the department accepts complaints but does not investigate them. The department granted Ms. Pao the automatic right to take the issue to court.

In the complaint, Ms. Pao says she believes managers at Kleiner Perkins had complained about her to others outside the firm “by among other things making unjustified critical comments about me to others in positions to affect my access to new employment and business opportunities.” Read More


All the Fun Guys Have Worked at SAP

Ajit Nazre

If “fun” means alleged LEGO hoarders and targets of gender discrimination lawsuits, European enterprise software giant SAP must be a fun place to work! Betabeat has been covering the arrest of SAP exec Thomas Langenbach, who built something “like a mini Legoland” in his San Carlos, CA home. We’ve learned that in addition to Mr. Langenbach, SAP once employed Ajit Nazre–who is a key figure in a major lawsuit filed against Silicon Valley VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers (KPCB). Former Kleiner Perkins investment partner Ellen Pao filed the suit, which in part covers interactions with Mr. Nazre after he moved from SAP to KPCB. Ms. Pao makes some tough allegations against Mr. Nazre, alleging they had a personal relationship and claiming that after it ended, he “[…] started a consistent pattern of retaliation against her” which lasted more than 5 years. In the same suit Ms. Pao also accuses Mr. Nazre of harassing several other women. She also states Mr. Nazre left KPCB in 2011 after an independent investigation into harassment claims. Read More


Kleiner Perkins Sued for Sexual Harassment and Gender Discrimination [UPDATED]

Mr. Exelrod

The “sexism in tech” debate is about to get new legs with the news that Ellen Pao, a partner at VC firm Kleiner Perkins, is suing the company for sexual harassment and gender discrimination.

Ms. Pao has been an investment partner at Kleiner Perkins since 2005 and is in charge of a host of digital ventures in the company’s portfolio, including magazine reading iPad app Flipboard.

Ms. Pao is represented by San Francisco attorney Alan B. Exelrod, who has extensive experience in successfully prosecuting sexual harassment suits, including the seminal 1994 case Weeks vs. Baker & McKenzie. Read More