GitHub Admits Former CEO Acted Inappropriately

One week later, GitHub admits to lying in last week's report

GitHub’s CEO Chris Wanstrath has apologized for not being transparent about the internal investigation into the allegations brought by former employee Julie Anne Horvath.

“Last Monday I published the least open and least transparent blog post GitHub has ever written. We failed to admit and own up to our mistakes, and for that I'm sorry. GitHub has a reputation for being transparent and taking responsibility for our actions, but last week we did neither. There's no excuse. We can do a lot better,” Wanstrath starts off.

That being said, he explains how the investigation took place and that the company hired a specialist to analyze everything and find out what went wrong and basically to get to the bottom of things. That being said, things aren’t as innocent as he made us think last week when he said there was no evidence to support the allegations.

Instead, he admits that Tom Preston-Werner, one of the company’s founders and former CEO, acted inappropriately, including through confrontational conduct, disregard of workplace complaints, insensitivity to the impact of his spouse’s presence in the workplace, and failure to enforce an agreement that his spouse should not work in the office.

“There were also issues surrounding the solicitation of GitHub employees for non-GitHub business and the inappropriate handling of employee concerns regarding those solicitations,” he writes.

Since the list of allegations also mentioned that one of GitHub’s engineers had harassed Julie Anne Horvath, the investigation also extended to this chapter. The investigation on this front did not find any information to “support misconduct or opportunistic behavior by the engineer against Julie or any other female employees in the workplace.”

“Furthermore, there was no information found to support Julie’s allegation that the engineer maliciously deleted her code. The commit history, push log, and all issues and pull requests involving Julie and the accused engineer were reviewed. The investigation considered all possible commits surrounding the accusation of passive-aggressive code removal. One instance was found where the engineer updated and broke some CSS in an internal application, which was fixed in a later commit. The investigator determined this change did not appear malicious,” Wanstrath writes.

A third topic that was covered is the working environment over at GitHub. Despite allegations, the investigation did not find anything to support a sexist or discriminatory environment at GitHub, as well as no information to suggest retaliation against Julie for making her complaints.

The company’s leader apologizes for lying last week and realizes that the new post doesn’t fix or undo anything that has happened, but he promises that he’ll do better in the future.

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