It’s so sad these things still happen in this day and age!
Cheryl Yeoh, founder and former CEO of Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre (MaGIC), made waves during her time in Silicon Valley.
Like anyone, she was faced with her own unique set of challenges when she entered the predominantly male industry of tech startups.
Despite being surrounded by like-minded, forward-thinking professionals, she was unfortunately subjected to sexual harassment from one of the most notable CEOs in the industry.
Yeoh recently revealed in a blog post that she was harassed by Dave McClure, now former CEO of 500 Startups, three years ago in her own apartment here in Malaysia.
She decided to reveal this after news of him harassing another woman in the industry surfaced just last month.
In her post, she described how he propositioned her for sex, despite knowing that she was in a relationship. The former CEO reportedly visited her apartment to hang out with her and a group of friends.
Things started becoming suspicious to Yeoh when McClure remained in her apartment after her other friends had left. She then asked him if she should call him an Uber so he could leave, to which he replied with a “no”. Her blog post read,
“Perplexed, I offered him to crash on the couch or the guest room and proceeded to show him the guest room.
“Then I went into my own bedroom but Dave (McClure) followed me there, and that’s when he first propositioned to sleep with me. I said no.”
It was at this point that she reminded him about her boyfriend, having just talked about him earlier that night and proceeded to lead him to the door.
“On the way out, he pushed himself onto me to the point where I was backed into a corner, made contact to kiss me, and said something along the lines of “Just one night, please just this one time”.
“Disgusted and outraged, I said no firmly again, pushed him away and made sure he was out my door.”
Shaken by what had just happened, she decided to call her boyfriend and tell him about it.
“The fact that I had to say no multiple times, and that he had push himself onto me and kissed me without my consent was way more than crossing the line of inappropriateness. It’s sexual assault.”
Her blog post quickly got the attention of international news portals, which eventually led to McClure’s resignation from his position as CEO of 500 Startups.
According to Forbes, a statement from the company read,
“We appreciate Cheryl speaking up and realise how upsetting and painful it is for her to have gone through that experience and have the courage to speak up.”
“We can only hope our efforts in changing 500 can help create a safe and effective platform for female founders around the world.”
At least McClure had the decency to resign from his post. Let’s hope he learns his lesson and knows how to respect people from now on!