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Uber Executive Resigns, Weeks After Claims Reported about Sexual Misconduct

Uber’s top dealmaker, Cameron Poetzscher, has resigned, weeks after an investigation into sexual misconduct in the workplace appeared in a Wall Street Journal article on Sept. 26.

The resignation is immediate, and Uber confirmed his departure to the Journal. Poetzscher had been at Uber for nearly five years, and the incidents took place before CEO Dara Khosrowshahi took control of Uber in August 2017. In a statement to Fortune, Uber thanked Poetzscher for his service and said that Nelson Chai will be taking over his duties while the company searches for a new lead.

Poetzscher is the latest in a number of executives at Uber to leave the company or be fired since the company’s rowdy culture was revealed by former engineer Susan Fowler to also be rife with sexual harassment and unwanted exposure to sexualized situations. In the first few months of 2017 following her blog post, 14 executives departed.

A probe by an outside law firm a year ago reportedly found some substantiation that Poetzscher had made sexually suggestive comments, noted which co-workers with whom he would like to have sex, and had a consensual affair with an employee for whom he contributed to their annual review. (Poetzscher is married.)

Unlike prior corporate responses both within Uber and at other tech companies, Uber reprimanded Poetzscher in November 2017, ordered sensitivity coaching, and reduced his bonus, the Journal reported. An Uber spokesperson said in a statement in September that the outside counsel didn’t recommend firing Poetzscher.

After eight months, he received a temporary promotion to head the company’s finances until a chief financial officer was hired in August 2018. Poetzscher led significant rounds of investment in Uber, most recently in January 2018, in which SoftBank invested $7.7 billion in the app-hailing company.

Poetzscher also provided the Journal a statement when its story ran Sept. 26 in which he generally acknowledged events without providing any specifics: “I deeply regret and have learned from this error in judgment.”

In 2015, Poetzscher and his wife’s live-in nanny sued the couple, alleging underpayment and long working hours, but also sexual behavior and requests by Poetzscher. Poetzscher and his wife, Varsha Rao, said at the time that the accusations were “completely and utterly false,” and reportedly settled the lawsuit later that year without admitting any wrongdoing.