GitHub announced today the resignation of President, co-founder, and former CEO Tom Preston-Werner following an investigation related to accusations of gender-based and sexual harassment from a former engineer.
The firm noted that it found no evidence of “sexual or gender-based harassment or retaliation, or of a sexist or hostile work environment,” but it did find “evidence of mistakes and errors of judgment.” Preston-Werner has resigned in light of those errors.
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Preston-Werner published a blog post today explaining his departure and his plans to move into the field of immersive computing/virtual reality. In keeping with the GitHub statement, he did admit to having made mistakes, while asserting that neither he nor his wife committed harassment. A Medium post by Theresa Preston-Werner suggests that one of those mistakes was the fact that some GitHub employees said they felt pressured to work pro-bono for her non-profit.
In response to the incident, GitHub said it is implementing new HR and training programs to better address employee concerns and conflicts.
Julie Ann Horvath, the former GitHub engineer who made the allegations, has taken issue with GitHub’s statement in a series of tweets. We’ve reached out to her for comment and will update if we hear back.
1. Bullying someone into quitting: Illegal.
— Julie Ann Horvath (@nrrrdcore) April 21, 2014
Here’s the complete statement from GitHub CEO Chris Wanstrath:
Last month, a number of allegations were made against GitHub and some of its employees, including one of its co-founders, Tom Preston-Werner. We took these claims seriously and launched a full, independent, third-party investigation.
The investigation found no evidence to support the claims against Tom and his wife of sexual or gender-based harassment or retaliation, or of a sexist or hostile work environment. However, while there may have been no legal wrongdoing, the investigator did find evidence of mistakes and errors of judgment. In light of these findings, Tom has submitted his resignation, which the company has accepted. Tom has been a huge part of this company from the very beginning and we appreciate all that he has done for GitHub. We wish him the best in his next endeavour.
As to the remaining allegations, the investigation found no evidence of gender-based discrimination, harassment, retaliation, or abuse.
We want to create a great place to work for all our employees and we can’t do that without acknowledging the challenges that exist in providing an inclusive work environment. We are implementing a number of new HR and employee-led initiatives as well as training opportunities to make sure employee concerns and conflicts are taken seriously and dealt with appropriately. We know we still have work to do.
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