Venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson resigns from firm, takes leave from Tesla, SpaceX boards

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday GOP candidate Roy Moore should quit his Alabama race amid allegations he had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl and pursued romantic relationships with other teenage girls decades ago. (Nov. 13)

SAN FRANCISCO — Steve Jurvetson, a prominent venture capitalist who serves on the boards of Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors and Space X, is leaving his post at Draper Fisher Jurvetson amid an internal investigation into allegations of sexual harassment.

He’s also on leave from Tesla and SpaceX.

Jurvetson could not be immediately reached for comment. 

In a Twitter post, he said: “I am leaving DFJ to focus on personal matters, including taking legal action against those whose false statements have defamed me.”

“Steve Jurvetson is on a leave of absence from the SpaceX and Tesla boards pending resolution of these allegations,” SpaceX communications director John Taylor said in an emailed statement.

Jurvetson’s firm, Draper Fisher Jurveston (DFJ), said Jurvetson was leaving by “mutual agreement.” It announced Jurvetson’s departure in a letter to its limited partners Monday.

“As of today and by mutual agreement, Steve Jurvetson will be leaving DFJ,” the firm told UT in an emailed statement. “DFJ’s culture has been, and will continue to be, built on the values of respect and integrity in all of our interactions. We are focused on the success of our portfolio companies, as well as the long-term vision for the firm and will continue to operate with the highest professional standards.”

DFJ opened an investigation into Jurvetson based on “indirect and second-hand allegations,” the firm said last month.

Entrepreneur Keri Kukral alleged predatory behavior at the firm but did not name Jurvetson.

At the time she wrote on Facebook: “My situation was gray and personal not professional. I have doubts that the behavior has stopped for others and have wondered for a long time how to warn people without damaging myself.”

In a blog post two weeks ago, a DFJ partner, Heidi Roizen, said her firm had never received an official complaint alleging misconduct.

“During the summer this year, we heard about allegations of misconduct by one (and only one) of our partners from a third party. We felt the responsible thing to do was to launch an independent investigation, and so we did,” she wrote. “In the past week, a single Facebook post also accused DFJ of having a culture that is predatory to women. I don’t need an investigation to state with certainty that this is patently wrong.”

News of the investigation follows 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.

A Silicon Valley sexual harassment scandal over the summer exposed tales of bad behavior by venture capitalists, two of whom, Dave McClure and Justin Caldbeck, resigned. The removal of two prominent investors sent shock waves through Silicon Valley, where for years there were few consequences for sexist and predatory behavior.

News of Jurvetson’s departure was first reported by technology news outlet Recode.


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Olivier Blanchard