Early Uber investor and venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar said Tuesday that he is taking an immediate leave of absence from his two companies after a report of alleged sexual misconduct.
Pishevar is the founder of Sherpa Capital and a co-founder of Virgin Hyperloop One. In a statement provided by his spokesman Mark Fabiani, Pishevar said the leave of absence from those companies and his portfolio-company board responsibilities was his decision.
Bloomberg reported last week that at least five women have accused Pishevar of sexual misconduct.
Pishevar called the allegations against him a "smear campaign" and referred to his defamation lawsuit against a Republican-backed political opposition firm. His lawsuit accuses the firm of publicizing unconfirmed information about Pishevar allegedly sexual assaulting a woman in London. Pishevar said he will use the free time from his leave of absence to focus on the lawsuit, which was filed in November.
Pishevar is the latest venture capitalist to leave companies indefinitely or for good after sexual misconduct allegations. Others include Binary Capital co-founder Justin Caldbeck, 500 Startups founder Dave McClure and DFJ co-founder Steve Jurvetson. Similar to Pishevar, Jurvetson said he would focus on "taking legal action against those whose false statements have defamed me" in a tweet after he quit DFJ.
Most famous as an early Uber investor, Pishevar built a reputation as a political player in Silicon Valley, donating to various Democratic politicians over the years. But some are turning their backs on Pishevar due to the allegations against him.
On Monday, Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and Cory Booker, D-N.J., decided to give Pishevar's donations to charities focused on victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, Bloomberg reported.
(c)2017 The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.)
Visit The Mercury News (San Jose, Calif.) at www.mercurynews.com
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.