Kleiner Perkins: 'We will vigorously defend our reputation' | June 1, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |


Palo Alto Weekly

News - June 1, 2012

Kleiner Perkins: 'We will vigorously defend our reputation'

Menlo Park VC firm sued by female partner for discrimination

by Sandy Brundage

Calling the last several days a difficult time at the Menlo Park venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, veteran partner John Doerr defended the company Wednesday, May 30, following a fellow employee's gender-discrimination lawsuit filed in early May.

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Almanac Staff Writer Sandy Brundage can be emailed at sbrundage@almanacnews.com.


Like this comment
Posted by Yawn
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 31, 2012 at 2:56 pm

Since this is all going to go away without the public's every knowing the details .. what's the point of running this story? Ellen Pao doesn't exactly come off as a heroine, and she certainly does come off as even much of a "victim", at least so far.

All in all .. Ellen Pao .. you got some 'splainin' to do!

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on May 31, 2012 at 3:05 pm

Former Vice President Al Gore

... is a senior partner with the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, ...

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 31, 2012 at 3:25 pm

Sharon - why don't you tell us something that we don't already know? Thank you in advance.

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on May 31, 2012 at 5:04 pm

This litigation will in fact harm womens prospects in the High Tech sector-it sure will not benefit Pao-

There are many more productive ways of resolving conflict in the workplace

" Her action may reduce the very kind of access she enjoyed for those who followed her.

Setting Kleiner Perkins aside, consider the rest of the sector.

Human-resources specialists aren’t idiots.

They see how much Pao, still merely alleging, is costing a firm such as Kleiner Perkins: time, image and distraction from its main work, finding value.

Other businesses will work harder to avoid a litigious hire.

They will scour candidates’ resumes for similarities to Pao’s.

Her husband, Alphonse Fletcher Jr., had filed lawsuits.

Any job candidate with a record of suing, or with a litigious spouse, will get a cooler reception.

Starting last week.

In other words, some highly qualified candidates will be excluded.

Will HR departments admit what they are doing?


Web Link

Like this comment
Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on May 31, 2012 at 5:16 pm

And how many malpractice suits can you file before it becomes difficult to find a doctor?

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 31, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Again, her husband's record isn't relevant in this suit.

This article certainly does little to convince that there's nothing to her allegations. It's a PR puffpiece, & reminds me of Edwards' mea culpa hand-wringing today in that it's going through the motions & expecting us to take them at their word. It'll be interesting to see what evidence she may have - if the public is allowed to learn any details.

Like this comment
Posted by Ivy League
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on May 31, 2012 at 8:28 pm

What's the point of carefully noting her Ivy League education?
Are we supposed to ooh and ahh? Are we supposed to believe her "more" than the VC firm here? I am unimpressed with that detail and believe it's irrelevant to *any* sex discrimination lawsuit. The case goes on it's own merits. Mostly, I am tired of people bringing up their Ivy League connections at any possible opportunity.

Like this comment
Posted by Mom
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jun 1, 2012 at 5:48 am

How does her choice to have an affair result in a discrimination lawsuit against the firm? I think the reason this hasn't settled is that the facts are ridiculous and no jury is going to find her sympathetic.

Like this comment
Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 1, 2012 at 8:47 am

Mom, read the legal filing because this story is an update and not comprehensive so it's misleading. She alleges that her more senior colleague lied and said his wife had left him. She'd been encouraged by senior staff to get involved with him.

A victim doesn't have to be sympathetic to be a victim, but it helps. Who knows what real evidence exists? I want to know what admin staff experienced - there were problems in that segment of employees with harassment according to her suit.

Like this comment
Posted by Sympathetic
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2012 at 10:50 am

Wow. The vast majority of the comments here appear to be blaming the woman for filing the lawsuit.

Careful reading of the article reveals that three admins were also sexually harassed at this firm.

I worked in High Tech, and I remember well the "full of themselves" VC's who used to visit our company. Having the means to support or deny a small company's success gave the mostly male guys from these companies lots and lots of "attitude".

And, back in the 70s, before there was much awareness of this, I was sexually harassed at nearly every job I held. Young, fairly attractive women had to fend bosses off all the time.

Like this comment
Posted by Mr.Sharon's values
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 1, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Mr. Sharon as usual believes that anything that interrupts making money for the company. even severe misbehavior by the executives.
Mr. Sharon is true to his core belief, that money is more important than anything else. His engineering experience is relevant.

Like this comment
Posted by vkmo
a resident of Mountain View
on Jun 2, 2012 at 11:09 am

If she "gave in", then she was complicit. She should have refused and complained instead of "giving in". If a person has sex with a coworker, then it becomes hard to continue in the organization. She should have skipped and gone to a different organization.

Like this comment
Posted by Terrible
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jun 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm

This is a terrible issue - a true he said, she said, with rich people and big names all around. Really no good for anyone.

Like this comment
Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 4, 2012 at 5:26 pm

Pao got a very unfavorable review in the NYT this weekend- they cast her - along with her husband- as litigious gold diggers.

The husband was a major active figure in the gay community in NY for over a decade and was hit with multiple suits for sexual harassment by male employees.

One quote from the NYT " How can Pao not remember how many times she slept with someone she later accused of sexual harassment?"

This case is both hilarious and career ending for Pao and her husband

As they said in the 90s-

-what were they thinking?

Good that KP refuses to be blackmailed and is heading for court to clear their brands reputation.

Like this comment
Posted by Mr.Sharon's values
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 4, 2012 at 6:18 pm

That she "gave in" to keep her job does not make her complicit. And it's easy not to remember the number of times if it was more than 2 or 3.
Regardless of her failings, she has a good case, money will only be paid if the allegations are true.
I understand Mr. Sharon's macho values, but I do not share them. He is a throwback to a former era. I hope she names names. Those rich boys get away with alot. Ask any woman who works with them.