Декабря 13, 2017

Virgin Hyperloop One co-founder Shervin Pishevar takes leave after allegations

06 Декабря 2017, 04:33 | Edward Lowe

Michael Seto

Shervin Pishevar

His lawsuit accuses the firm of publicizing unconfirmed information about Pishevar allegedly sexual assaulting a woman in London.

Ahead of Pishevar's announcement that he would take "an immediate leave of absence", Bloomberg published a scathing report of his history of alleged sexual misconduct, describing situations in which Pishevar allegedly used his professional clout to make nonconsensual advances on women who were looking for opportunities in the industry. Pishevar was an early investor in the ride-hailing company.

"This was a decision I came to and proposed on my own accord", Pishevar said in a statement.

In a statement on Tuesday, Mr. Pishevar said he was taking a leave from Sherpa Capital, the venture firm he co-founded; the transportation company Virgin Hyperloop One, which he also helped found; as well as other company boards.

"Pishevar said his leave of absences are due to "[pursuing] the prosecution" of a lawsuit he filed last month against "potential perpetrators of a smear campaign against me".

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In an earlier incident in the United Kingdom, where Pishevar was briefly arrested after a woman told London police that the early Uber investor had raped her, he was subsequently released and the case closed due to insufficient evidence.

Mr. Pishevar, 43, is among several technology investors who have been accused of sexual misconduct this year, many of them as part of an investigation conducted this summer by The New York Times. In his statement today, Pishevar says he hopes to "unearth who fabricated the fraudulent London 'police report, ' and who is responsible for spreading false rumors about me".

Pishevar has denied these allegations and says that he's the subject of a smear campaign. "He fully cooperated with the police investigation which was exhaustive and detailed". "It is not one I took lightly and it was a hard decision that was guided by Sherpa Capital's abiding belief in service and putting others before ourselves". It is not one I took lightly and it was a hard decision that was guided by Sherpa Capital's abiding belief in service and putting others before ourselves.

A spokesperson for Sherpa Capital said the firm has not received a sexual harassment complaint. "Our team remains focused on supporting our portfolio companies, investing in outstanding founders, and serving the interests of our Limited Partners". Hyperloop One has not commented on the claims. (Pishevar's representatives said they were "confident that these anecdotes will be shown to be untrue.") Two Democratic senators subsequently donated money that Pishevar had given them to charity, and he reportedly faced pressure to resign from the board of Hyperloop One.

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