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.

Full statement:

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.

Go deeper

Coronavirus surge punctures oil's recovery

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The growth of coronavirus cases is "casting a shadow" over oil's recovery despite the partial demand revival and supply cuts that have considerably tightened the market in recent months, the International Energy Agency said Friday.

Why it matters: IEA's monthly report confirms what analysts have seen coming for a long time: Failure to contain the virus is a huge threat to the market rebound that has seen prices grow, but remain at a perilous level for many companies.

2 hours ago - Sports

Big Ten's conference-only move could spur a regionalized college sports season

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Big Ten announced Thursday that it will move all fall sports to a conference-only schedule.

Why it matters: This will have a snowball effect on the rest of the country, and could force all Power 5 conferences to follow suit, resulting in a regionalized fall sports season.

The second jobs apocalypse

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

This week, United Airlines warned 36,000 U.S. employees their jobs were at risk, Walgreens cut more than 4,000 jobs, Wells Fargo announced it was preparing thousands of terminations this year, and Levi's axed 700 jobs due to falling sales.

Why it matters: We have entered round two of the jobs apocalypse. Those announcements followed similar ones from the Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott and Choice hotels, which all have announced thousands of job cuts, and the bankruptcies of more major U.S. companies like 24 Hour Fitness, Brooks Brothers and Chuck E. Cheese in recent days.