Silicon Valley VC resigns amid sexual harassment allegations

Less than a week after he was accused of sexually harassing half a dozen women, local venture capitalist Justin Caldbeck is leaving the firm he helped found.

Caldbeck’s departure from VC firm Binary Capital was announced late Sunday evening by his co-founder, Justin Teo, in an email to the firm’s investors.

“I trusted my partner and it is clear that I shouldn’t have,” Teo wrote, according to a copy of the letter provided to SiliconBeat by Binary Capital. “The predatory behavior Justin has been accused of is deplorable, and there will be zero tolerance at our firm of any conduct that is demeaning to women.”

Axios reported Caldbeck’s resignation Sunday.

The move follows allegations of sexual harassment published in The Information on Thursday. According to the online publication, six women came forward to accuse Caldbeck of making unwanted sexual advances in business settings — in several cases, while they were seeking funding or advice for their businesses.

Teo wrote that he regretted failing to immediately force Caldbeck out after the allegations surfaced last week.

While Caldbeck initially denied the allegations to The Information, he quickly changed his tune and apologized, calling his behavior “outrageous and unethical,” and took a leave of absence.

Matt Mazzeo, who recently joined Binary Capital as its third partner, also has left the firm in the wake of the sexual harassment scandal.

Binary Capital is just the latest Silicon Valley firm to face controversy over the way its male partners or executives treat women. Uber CEO Travis Kalanick resigned last week over controversy including allegations of sexual harassment and sexism within the company. And in 2015 venture capitalist Ellen Pao took her former employers at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers to court over claims that they discriminated against and failed to promote her because she’s a woman — a salacious trial that revealed aspects of the firm’s “boys’ club” culture, despite Pao’s ultimate defeat.

Photo: A screen shot from Justin Caldbeck’s LinkedIn profile. 


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