Menu
Former GitHub CEO quits after harassment investigation

Former GitHub CEO quits after harassment investigation

Tom Preston-Werner says he'll 'fight any further false claims to the full extent of the law'

Former GitHub CEO Tom Preston-Werner has resigned from the company following an investigation into claims of harassment.

The investigation by a third party found there had been no legal wrongdoing but determined that "errors of judgment" and "mistakes" had been made, according to a blog post Monday by GitHub co-founder and current CEO Chris Wanstrath.

Wanstrath became CEO in January when Preston-Werner stepped down to pursue research and development at the company.

Last month, GitHub engineer Julie Ann Horvath quit, charging in a series of Twitter messages and in the trade press that she had been subjected to sexual and gender harassment.

Horvath's messages stirred considerable controversy, tapping into the hot-button issue of sexism in the field of IT.

In a subsequent interview in the trade press, Horvath described how the wife of an unnamed co-founder attempted to intimidate her in company matters. The wife was not an employee of the company.

She also described the GitHub work environment as being hostile to women, despite concerted efforts by her and the founders to bring more females into the company.

Preston-Werner announced his resignation in his own blog post Monday.

"With every decision I made at GitHub and in every interaction I had with employees, I tried to treat people better than they expected and to resolve conflict with empathy," he wrote. "Despite that, I've made mistakes, and I am deeply sorry to anyone who was hurt by those mistakes."

"That said," he added, "I want to be very clear about one thing: neither my wife, Theresa, nor I have ever engaged in gender-based harassment or discrimination."

He said he and his wife are "prepared to fight any further false claims ... to the full extent of the law."

Founded in 2008, GitHub provides a hosted environment for storing and maintaining software projects. The company has about 240 employees and hosts more than 11.3 million projects from about 5.4 million users.

GitHub's 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," Wanstrath wrote.

In a series of caustic Twitter messages Monday, Horvath expressed severe dissatisfaction with the investigation.

In one message, she stated she met a mediator from the company who seemed to be most concerned with relieving GitHub "of any legal responsibility."

In another, she reiterated that company executives bullied her to quit.

GitHub is not the only Web-focused organization with executive ranks recently roiled by controversy. Earlier this month, new Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich stepped down after only two weeks in the post, due to protest sparked by his support of California's 2008 ban on same-sex marriage.

Joab Jackson covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Joab on Twitter at @Joab_Jackson. Joab's e-mail address is Joab_Jackson@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuespersonnelGitHub

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments