GitHub co-founder resigns after ‘errors of judgment’

Julie Ann Horvath, a former employee who alleged workplace gender discrimination, blasts the company after an investigation reportedly didn’t find evidence of sexism.

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The GitHub team. GitHub

The sexism allegations that put GitHub co-founder Tom Preston-Werner on leave have culminated in his resignation.

The company announced Monday that after a "full, independent, third-party investigation," Werner submitted his resignation as president of GitHub. While Werner is stepping down, the company maintains he wasn't involved in any sort of gender discrimination.

"The 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," GitHub CEO and co-founder Chris Wanstrath wrote in a blog post. "However, while there may have been no legal wrongdoing, the investigator did find evidence of mistakes and errors of judgment."

Werner was put on leave in March after one of GitHub's female engineers, Julie Ann Horvath, accused the company of gender discrimination. During the two years that Horvath worked at GitHub, which is a hosting service for software projects, she said she tried to fit in with the "boys' club" but had a hard time feeling welcome because of her gender.

Horvath said she was subjected to harassment by Werner's wife and a GitHub engineer who she reportedly rejected after romantic overtures. Despite Horvath saying she worked with human resources to right the situation, she concluded the company's culture would not change -- which led to her resignation.

Even though Werner has stepped down as president of GitHub, Horvath is still critical of the company's denial of any alleged workplace sexism. Horvath took to Twitter on Monday with a string of tweets that refuted the outcome of the investigation.

"Bullying someone into quitting: Illegal," she wrote in one tweet. "Justifying the harassment of an employee because of her personal relationships: Pathetic," she said in another.

In his blog post, Wanstrath wrote that going forward, GitHub is putting into place new human resources and "employee-led" initiatives and training opportunities. "We know we still have work to do," he wrote.

About the author

Dara Kerr is a staff writer for CNET focused on the sharing economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado where she developed an affinity for collecting fool's gold and spirit animals.

 

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