Dave McClure, the founder of startup incubator 500 startups, has publicly apologised following a report in the New York Times that detailed a pattern of inappropriate behaviour with women.
“While I’d like to believe that I’m not a bad or evil person, regardless it’s clear that some of my past actions have hurt or offended several women,” McClure wrote in a blog post. “And I probably deserve to be called a creep.”
McClure acknowledged making inappropriate advances towards multiple women in work-related situations and said he “selfishly” took advantage of situations where he should have known better.
The revelations about McClure are the latest in a string of recent events that have exposed an ugly reality in Silicon Valley, America’s capital of innovation and a self-styled bastion of progressive values.
A growing chorus of women have come forward and spoken out about their experiences being harassed in the male-dominated industry, and the result has rocked the valley’s longstanding power structure. Venture capital firms have collapsed, and Uber, the most valuable private tech startup, is undergoing a cultural reformation to save its company.
The accusations caused McClure to step down from his role as CEO of 500 startups, one of Silicon Valley’s most active startup incubators.
In its story, the New York Times cited one particular woman, Sarah Kunst, who told the paper McClure harassed her after she talked with him about a job at 500 Startups. McClure apologised to Kunst in his post, describing advances he made towards her “over drinks, late one night in a small group.”
“My apologies to Sarah for my inappropriate behaviour in a setting I thought was social, but in hindsight was clearly not,” he wrote.
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