SoFi CEO Resigns After Claims Of Sexual Harassment

Online lender and refinancing company SoFi is the latest tech company to be caught up in a series of sexual harassment allegations.
Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal published an exclusive feature in which "nearly a dozen current and former employees" across departments accused some executives, including SoFi's former chief financial officer Nino Fanlo, of "engag[ing] in or tolerat[ing] improper behavior toward women in recent years."
Fanlo said the interactions weren't sexual, and that he "occasionally complimented both men and women's outfits." He later resigned from his position in May to "pursue another executive opportunity." Now, SoFi's chief executive officer Michael Cagney is following suit.
"The resignation follows a lawsuit over claims of sexual harassment at the San Francisco-based start-up," reports The New York Times. "Several former employees said that Mr. Cagney, 46, had inappropriate relationships with SoFi employees, which helped foment a toxic workplace culture."
Employees told WSJ that culture included being pressured to work extra hours and on holidays to avoid being fired. "Mr. Cagney used to tell SoFi staff that if they weren't waking up twice a week in a cold sweat, they weren't working hard enough, according to a former staffer." The Times also notes that Cagney "sent sexually explicit text messages" to an executive assistant, which resulted in a $75,000 settlement, and that he "pursued a relationship" with another employee later that year.
The outgoing CEO (who will also be vacating his post as chairman) sent a letter to employees on Monday night saying that "the combination of HR-related litigation and negative press have become a distraction from the company's core mission." The line is become a familiar refrain.
David Bonderman, a partner at private equity firm TPG, resigned from his position as a member of Uber's board after making a sexist remark during a staff meeting about the company's culture. (Which has been widely panned, even beyond Silicon Valley.)
"I do not want my comments to create distraction as Uber works to build a culture of which we can be proud," he said in a statement. "I need to hold myself to the same standards that we're asking Uber to adopt."
Many critics of the ride-sharing company might argue that Bonderman's comments weren't a distraction, but a regular feature of the dynamic at Uber. Whether the same will be said of SoFi remains to be seen.
We reached out to SoFi for comment and will update this story when we hear back.

More from Work & Money

R29 Original Series