BetterWorks founder Kris Duggan is launching a new company
Kris Duggan, who founded and served as CEO of
BetterWorks, is starting a new company.
The new company already has funding and is hiring,
although Duggan offered few details about it.
Duggan stepped down as BetterWorks’ CEO in July after
he was accused in a lawsuit of sexually harassing an
Kris Dugan, the founder of BetterWorks, is launching a new
startup — just six months after he stepped down as CEO of the
enterprise software company amid accusations that he sexually
harassed an employee.
Duggan announced his new venture on Wednesday on LinkedIn. He
gave few details about the company he’s starting, beyond that he
already has funding for it and is hiring.
The startup is “pursuing a marketplace opportunity in a very big
and traditional market,” he said in his LinkedIn post.
It’s unclear who’s funding the new company. Duggan did not
immediately respond to a request for comment.
The move marks a quick turnaround for Duggan. Last July, he
stepped down as CEO of BetterWorks after a former BetterWorks
sued him and the company charging that he had assaulted her
and the company had fostered a hostile work environment.
According to the lawsuit, Duggan allegedly got drunk during
an offsite work retreat, entered a cabin occupied by the
plaintiff in the complaint, Beatrice Kim, and touched Kim’s legs
despite her asking him to stop. The lawsuit also charged that
Duggan oversaw a company that tolerated jokes about women, rape,
and female body parts and didn’t take seriously women’s
complaints about sexual harassment.
Duggan was one of many in tech accused of sexual improprieties —
but one of the first to attempt a rebound
The lawsuit, which is still active, came amid a flurry of
accusations against tech executives and investors charging them
with sexual harassment, sexual assault, and discrimination.
Duggan is one of the first of those hit by such allegations to
attempt a public restart of his career.
Duggan has disputed several of the claims in the suit and said he
stepped down as CEO only to “lessen the distraction” it was
causing the company. At the time, Duggan remained at BetterWorks
as its president. He’s now resigned from that role, though he
remains on BetterWorks’ board, a company representative said.
His quick rebound from the allegations of impropriety has left a
bad taste in the mouths of at least some in Silicon Valley.
In a post on Blind, an app where workers can anonymously discuss
their employers, one BetterWorks employee noted Duggan’s rapid
turnaround from being in the news for allegedly assaulting
someone to announcing that he has funding for a new
“Rich white dudes can really get away with anything, can’t they?”
the employee said in the post.