Ellen Pao shook up Silicon Valley's power base when she sued one of the biggest venture capital firms in the business and is likely to shake it up even further by suddenly announcing on Quora that the same firm just fired her. Pao filed suit against VC powerhouse Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers back in May, claiming she was retaliated against and cut out of business deals after ending a relationship with a fellow partner. The complaint also painted an unfortunate picture of a sexist, male-dominated culture that many in the hip and liberal tech community didn't want to believe still existed.
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Despite the ongoing suit, Pao—seen here with one of her soon-to-be former co-workers—remained an employee of the firm until, she says, "On Monday afternoon, senior management told me to clean out my office, leave, and not come back." KPCB countered by saying that she hasn't actually been fired, but that she was approached "to facilitate her transition, over an extended period of time, out of the firm." (That sounds like someone being fired to us, though there may quibbles on the details.) Either way, their working relationship appears to be over and those hungry for Bay Area-tech-business gossip have some more to chew on. The case has still not gone to trial and no settlement appears to be in the works.
- Company Legal & Law Matters