Steve Jurvetson left his venture capital firm after an internal investigation uncovered a pattern of deception with women including extramarital affairs, some of which blurred the line between his professional and personal lives, according to a tech news outlet’s report published Saturday.
An internal investigation conducted by Draper Fisher Jurvetson, known as DFJ, found that Jurvetson had affairs with multiple women at the same time, Recode reported. The women, who work in the tech industry, met him at professional conferences.
Women who spoke anonymously to USA TODAY in recent months said their sexual relationships with Jurvetson were consensual. One woman said the women were unaware of the other relationships until several of them met in March 2015 at a TED conference in Vancouver. The women spoke on the condition of anonymity because they feared damage to their reputations in the technology industry.
“He’d sort of create a soap opera for himself,” one of the women who dated Jurvetson told Recode on the condition of anonymity. “He lied to us.”
A second woman told Recode that she began dating Jurvetson while searching for career opportunities in venture capital and start-ups.
The 50-year-old technology investor is the highest profile venture capitalist yet to step down since women began speaking out about their treatment in Silicon Valley.
► Nov. 13: Venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson resigns from firm, takes leave of boards
► Oct. 31: Businessmen facing sexual misconduct claims since Harvey Weinstein
► Oct. 24: Prominent venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson under investigation
Jurvetson, who could not be reached for comment, has denied “vicious and wholly false allegations about sexual predation and workplace harassment.”
“Let me be perfectly clear: No such allegations are true,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
A DFJ spokeswoman, Carol Wentworth, declined to comment on the Recode report. In a previous statement she said Jurvetson’s departure was mutually agreed on.
Jurvetson, who has close ties to Elon Musk, also took a leave of absence from his Tesla and SpaceX board seats. He attended Tesla’s truck unveiling Thursday night.
Extramarital affairs fall into a different category than tales of venture capitalists’ sexual harassment that were exposed over the summer. Two of the venture capitalists, Dave McClure and Justin Caldbeck, resigned as a result of the allegations, sending shock waves through Silicon Valley where for years there were few consequences for sexist and predatory behavior.
After Jurvetson’s departure from DFJ was announced, he said in a Facebook post: “I think my personal life, and other people’s personal lives, should stay personal.”
It’s an open question how much personal behavior, like the behavior ascribed to Jurvetson, influences how business gets done in the clubby world of venture capital.
Venture capital is the de facto ATM for the technology industry, providing the cash infusion necessary for companies to take their shot at becoming tomorrow’s Apples, Facebooks and Googles. Yet men dominate and control the profession, employing few women investing partners and financing few female-founded start-ups.
DFJ opened the investigation into Jurvetson last month amid a national uproar over charges that powerful producer Harvey Weinstein for years sexually harassed women in Hollywood and a viral #MeToo movement on social media with women coming forward with their stories of sexual harassment.