Shervin Pishevar, the cofounder and executive chairman of Hyperloop One and managing director of Sherpa Capital, is taking a leave of absence from those companies in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations. Last week, Bloomberg reported allegations of sexual assault and harassment and earlier last month Fast Company reported on Pishevar’s arrest on suspicion of rape earlier this year in London. A representative for Pishevar denies the allegations and the investor was never charged in the rape case.
Here is the statement just released by Pishevar:
As many of you may have seen in recent news coverage, I filed a lawsuit last month against what I believe to be potential perpetrators of a smear campaign against me. As that legal action progresses, it is my priority to ensure that the Sherpa Capital family is not adversely affected.
Therefore, I have decided to take an immediate leave of absence from my duties at Sherpa Capital and Virgin Hyperloop One, as well as my portfolio company board responsibilities, so that I can pursue the prosecution of my lawsuit, where I am confident I will be vindicated. Through the discovery process, I hope to unearth who fabricated the fraudulent London “police report,” and who is responsible for spreading false rumors about me.
This was a decision I came to and proposed on my own accord. It is not one I took lightly and it was a difficult decision that was guided by Sherpa Capital’s abiding belief in service and putting others before ourselves.
I care deeply about the incredible teams at Sherpa Capital and our portfolio companies and Virgin Hyperloop One, and hope that my decision to take a leave of absence will eliminate any potential distraction to the great and important work being done at these companies.
A spokesperson for Sherpa Capital also released a statement that expressed its “respect and support” for Pishevar’s decision. It also stated that Sherpa has never received a sexual harassment complaint about him, though it noted “we recognize the inherent challenges of reporting misconduct.” The firm said that it is launching an “independent internal review” of its practices and operations.
This story has been updated.