A California jury on Friday cleared venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield and Byers of gender discrimination claims brought against it by a woman former partner in a trial that transfixed Silicon Valley.
After further deliberation, the jury also cleared Kleiner on a claim that the firm had retaliated against former partner Ellen Pao by terminating her employment after she sued in 2012.
The verdict dashed Pao’s hopes for personal vindication, but the trial’s embarrassing disclosures about how Pao and other women were treated at Kleiner have cast a long shadow over Silicon Valley corporate culture and its lack of diversity.
Pao, now interim chief executive at social-news service Reddit, claimed her standing at Kleiner crumbled after she ended a brief affair with partner Ajit Nazre. Her career deteriorated after he and Kleiner started retaliating against her, amid a climate that was overall unfriendly toward women, her lawyers argued.
The firm disputed those charges, presenting evidence that Kleiner went out of its way to hire women.
Ellen tweeted up a storm! Check them out!
We still have a looong way to go! But do women really support other women in Venture Capital and Entrepreneurship? That’s the question!