Friday, January 13, 2017

Warning to the Staff of Kapor Capital, Ellen Pao is Coming

Ellen Pao
Anybody still remembered Ellen Pao? She used to be the interim chief executive of Reddit, which has more than 163 million users and known for its "anything goes" atmosphere.

She was known for sacking Reddit's popular director of talent, Victoria Taylor, the woman responsible for the site’s Ask Me Anything forums. Taylor’s dismissal led many of the unpaid moderators who keep Reddit’s subbranches – or subreddits – running, to shut down their sections in protest. A petition from users demanding Pao's removal attracted more than 210,000 signatures.

Before Reddit, Pao tried suing one of Silicon Valley's most successful venture capital firms for gender discrimination to no avail. A court clerk previously said the jury had cleared venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers of discriminating and retaliating against Pao.

That's Ellen Pao.

The technology investor, is now trying to make a comeback to venture capital. Pao announced recently that she will be joining Kapor Capital as a senior member of the firm's investment team. Kapor Capital is known as one of the few firms in Silicon Valley that places a strong emphasis on supporting entrepreneurs who want to make a social impact or who come from underrepresented groups.

"Ellen is an inspiring change leader," said Mitch Kapor, partner at the Kapor Center, in a statement. "We are fortunate to be able to tap into her vast business expertise and passion as we challenge Silicon Valley to build diverse and inclusive tech workplaces."

Pao told that the bulk of her work will focus on tech diversity efforts. She said she will work with Kapor Capital's portfolio companies to help them drive diversity and inclusion as they grow their teams. Additionally, Pao will be joining the Kapor Center for Social Impact as its chief diversity and inclusion officer. In that role, she will help formulate strategies tech companies can use to improve their hiring and retention of women and minorities and other underrepresented groups.

However, Kleiner Perkins officials said Pao was a chronic complainer who twisted facts and circumstances in her lawsuit and had a history of conflicts with colleagues that contributed to the decision to let her go.

The case included salacious testimony about Pao's affair with a male colleague, Aniruddha Ajit Nazre, that was intended to bolster her allegations of gender bias. Pao said the Nazre pursued her relentlessly before the affair began, and that she broke it off when she learned he had lied about his wife leaving him.

Kleiner Perkins' attorney, Lynne Hermle, however, showed the jury emails and text messages that seemed to contradict Pao's claims that the Nazre hounded her into a relationship. In one email from 2006, after the affair began, Pao wrote that she was always looking out for the colleague -; "never stopped, never will."

As for Nazre, after leaving Kleiner, he joined Wellington Partners in 2012. He has been working as EVP and CSO at Reliance Industries Ltd since 2012. At Reliance, he has been responsible for launching "Jio", a Telecom and Digital Media Services venture that can potentially connect 500 million Indians to the internet by the end of 2016.

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