Photo Illustration: Axios Visuals
Silicon Valley investor Shervin Pishevar, notable for his backing of Uber, is taking a leave of absence from Sherpa Capital, Virgin Hyperloop One, and his duties on other boards of directors amid allegations of sexual harassment and assault, he said in a statement on Tuesday.
Backstory: Last week, multiple women accused Pishevar of unwanted touching and other inappropriate behavior. Earlier in November, Axios and other outlets reported that in May, Pishevar was arrested for alleged rape at a London luxury hotel, but was not ultimately charged. He filed a lawsuit against a U.S. political opposition research firm, Definers Public Affairs, claiming the company is engaging in a smear campaign against him. Definers denies the allegations.
The bigger picture: Pishevar is the latest Silicon Valley venture capitalist to to take a leave of absence (or resign) following allegations of sexual harassment and assault. In the summer, Binary Capital's Justin Caldbeck and 500 Startups' Dave McClure also stepped down, and DFJ's Steve Jurvetson did the same last month.
As many of you may have seen in recent news coverage, I filed a lawsuit last month against what I believe to be potential perpetrators of a smear campaign against me. As that legal action progresses, it is my priority to ensure that the Sherpa Capital family is not adversely affected.
Therefore, I have decided to take an immediate leave of absence from my duties at Sherpa Capital and Virgin Hyperloop One, as well as my portfolio company board responsibilities, so that I can pursue the prosecution of my lawsuit, where I am confident I will be vindicated. Through the discovery process, I hope to unearth who fabricated the fraudulent London "police report," and who is responsible for spreading false rumors about me.
This was a decision I came to and proposed on my own accord. It is not one I took lightly and it was a difficult decision that was guided by Sherpa Capital's abiding belief in service and putting others before ourselves.
I care deeply about the incredible teams at Sherpa Capital and our portfolio companies and Virgin Hyperloop One, and hope that my decision to take a leave of absence will eliminate any potential distraction to the great and important work being done at these companies.
Update: After multiple days of silence, Silicon Valley Bank, tells Axios that Pishevar has stepped off the board of directors of Silicon Foundry, a recent joint venture with Sherpa Capital.