Feeds

Github cofounder resigns after clearance in sex-harass probe

Errors of judgment cited by third-party investigators

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Tom Preston-Werner, the cofounder and former CEO of Github, has left the company being cleared by a third-party investigation into claims of sexual harassment at the coding startup.

"The investigation found no evidence to support the claims against Tom and his wife of sexual or gender-based harassment or retaliation, or of a sexist or hostile work environment," said Chris Wanstrath, a fellow Github founder and the current CEO, in a statement.

"However, while there may have been no legal wrongdoing, the investigator did find evidence of mistakes and errors of judgment," he wrote. "In light of these findings, Tom has submitted his resignation, which the company has accepted."

The investigation was prompted by the resignation of software engineer Julie Horvath, who claimed that she had been "harassed by the leadership" of GitHub for two years, had her code pulled by a staff member when she refused to sleep with him, and after female staff hula-hooped in the office while being ogled by male coders.

Horvath's very public resignation, and subsequent publicity, caused a stir at the company, which is backed by a $100m investment from VC firm Andreessen Horowitz. Wanstrath suspended the employee accused of pulling Horvath's code, and got independent investigators into the company to get to the bottom of matters.

In a Monday blog post, Preston-Werner said that he had been thinking about moving on for some time and would be starting a new business working with virtual reality environments. He said he was stepping down to avoid being a distraction to Github and is "insanely excited about the future."

"I want to be very clear about one thing: neither my wife, Theresa, nor I have ever engaged in gender-based harassment or discrimination," he wrote.

"The results of GitHub's independent investigation unequivocally confirm this and we are prepared to fight any further false claims on this matter to the full extent of the law. I believe in diversity and equality for all people in all professions, especially the tech sector."

Interestingly, Horvath never accused an unnamed cofounder and his wife of sexual harassment. She did say the wife in question was aggressive towards her and physically and verbally harassed her, but her complaints of sexually inappropriate behavior were against another staff member who, she claims, has since been promoted.

"I am not a victim. I'm someone that a company's negligence pushed too far, for too long. I am living, breathing consequence," she tweeted, after the news of the resignation broke. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.