Sex in the Valley

Chalk One Up for Ellen Pao: Court Rules Kleiner Perkins Can’t Make Her Arbitrate

Ms. Pao (kpcb.com)

When VC firm Kleiner Perkins filed its response to partner Ellen Pao’s gender discrimination suit (nearly a month ago now), included in the flurry of legal documents were requests to require Ms. Pao to submit to binding arbitration.

Now the Mercury News reports that the presiding judge has spoken–tentatively, at least–and she’ll be required to do no such thing. Kleiner argued that partners signed arbitration agreements with each of the firm’s new funds; Ms. Pao’s lawyer rejoined that only an umbrella agreement would do, and his logic apparently carried the day.

Of course, we should also note that lawyers for both sides are still due at a hearing today, where Kleiner has a chance to try talking the judge into reversing his ruling. Maybe somebody’s got an ace up his sleeve? Read More

Sex and the Valley

Master Hedge Fund of Buddy Fletcher, Ellen Pao’s Husband, Files for Bankruptcy

(Photo: KPCB)

The gender discrimination suit filed by Kleiner Perkins partner Ellen Pao against her employer has hit a potential snag. The hedge fund run by Ms. Pao’s husband, Alphonse “Buddy” Fletcher, has filed for bankruptcy, according to Dan Primack at Fortune.

Mr. Primack points out that while the bankruptcy and the suit could easily be unrelated, the possibility of family financial disaster could provide a motive for Ms. Pao seeking damages against the company. Read More

Sex in the Valley

The Number of Big-Name Female Hires at Kleiner Perkins Since Ellen Pao’s Lawsuit Just Doubled

Ms. Tilenius (Photo: LinkedIn)

The latest addition to the Kleiner Perkins team, according to AllThingsD: Google’s Stephanie Tilenius, who’ll be a new executive-in-residence. And we can’t help but notice that she’s the second splashy female hire since Ellen Pao filed her molotov cocktail of a discrimination suit. Last month, the firm poached Square’s head of product, Megan Quinn. Read More

Fresh Capital

Codecademy Programs Its Way to a $10M Series B

(Photo: www.successstories.co.in/)

Some may tsk-tsk the “learn to code” meme, but that hasn’t deterred New York-based Codecademy from sticking to its vision of teaching all of us to code. Today, cofounder Zach Sims announced on the company blog that the startup has raised $10M in series B funding from VC firms Kleiner Perkins, Index Ventures and Union Square Ventures, as well as angel investors Yuri Milner and Richard Branson. Read More

Sex and the Valley

Mysteries of Kleiner Perkins: No One Wants to Say How Much Ellen Pao and Other Partners Make

Ms. Pao and KP peers.

Compensation is central to the discrimination case filed against Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byer by junior partner Ellen Pao, which alleges among other things that women are paid less than men. So far, no details about compensation have been made public either by the plaintiff or the defendant, and Kleiner Perkins would like to keep it that way.  Read More

Sex in the Valley

Kleiner Perkins ‘Vigorously Denies’ Ellen Pao’s Gender Discrimination Claims

Ms. Pao (kpcb.com)

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has filed a response to partner Ellen Pao’s allegations of gender discrimination and boy howdy, they did not hold back. We’ve obtained a copy, and here’s the meat and potatoes:

“KPCB generally denies each and every material allegation of the Complaint and further denies that Plaintiff has been damaged in the manner alleged, or in any manner or amount.”

The firm also “vigorously denies” that it discriminated or retaliated against Ms. Pao, as well as claiming that Ms. Pao never reported anything prior to 2011, and they also deny that she complained in 2007.

The response goes into great detail, refuting many of Ms. Pao’s accusations point-by-point: Read More

Sex and the Valley

Ellen Pao: I’m Not Quitting Kleiner Perkins

Ms. Pao (kpcb.com)

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. (amityshlaes.com)

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