Entrepreneur

Kleiner Perkins: Ellen Pao is ‘misleading’ about termination

The Kleiner Perkins-Ellen Pao saga popped up its ugly head last night. Pao is suing the leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm for sexual discrimination.

Pao posted on Quora yesterday, claiming that she had been fired. Continuing a previous thread, she said that she had been fired:

Update: I have been terminated from my job at KPCB. On Monday afternoon, senior management told me to clean out my office, leave, and not come back.

Thank you, Quora community, for your support.

But when I asked Kleiner Perkins about Pao’s post, the firm gave me this statement:

Ms. Pao’s Quora post is misleading.  She remains an employee of the firm.  Because of long-standing issues having no relationship or bearing on the litigation, Kleiner approached Ms. Pao to facilitate her transition, over an extended period of time, out of the firm.  The proposed terms, which did not require Ms. Pao to waive any legal rights or claims, are generous, fair and intended to support Ms. Pao in a successful career transition.

Pao filed the sexual discrimination lawsuit in May, alleging that partner Ajit Nazre pressured her to have sex while on a business trip to Germany, and that after she later acquiesced, began a relationship with him but then broke it off, he retaliated with a series of harassment over a five-year period. In addition, Pao says partner Randy Komisar also acted inappropriately to her.

Kleiner Perkins has vigorously denied the accusations and unsuccessfully attempted to go to arbitration over the matter. Based on the firm’s statement, it now seems that the company offered her terms for quitting, probably including a cash settlement and career placement services.

Pao, quite obviously, has refused, apparently choosing instead to wage a more public battle of popular opinion. Very successfully, I might add — just try a Google images search for “Kleiner Perkins.” And now she is adding termination to the lawsuit as well as filing a charge of discrimination with the California Department of Fair Employment and Housing, according to All Things D.

The matter remains before the courts.


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