First came the tweets. Julie Ann Horvath, a former engineer at programming network GitHub, explained her resignation from the company in Friday messages including these two:
The next day, TechCrunch posted an article
that offered more detail about the reasons for Horvath’s departure. She didn’t name the co-founder who she says attempted to intimidate her, but she did describe a dinner in which the founder’s wife told her “how I better not leave GitHub and write something bad about them, and how she had been told by her husband that she should intervene with my relationship to be sure I was ‘made very happy’ so that I wouldn’t quit and say something nasty about her husband’s company because ‘he had worked so hard.’”
The article goes on to detail other instances of alleged intimidation by the co-founder and his wife and sexual harassment from another engineer. They were part of a larger, sexist internal culture at the company, she said.
Sunday evening, GitHub posted a message to its blog
from CEO and co-founder Chris Wanstrath about Horvath’s resignation. It states, in part:
We know we have to take action and have begun a full investigation. While that’s ongoing, and effective immediately, the relevant founder has been put on leave, as has the referenced GitHub engineer. The founder’s wife discussed in the media reports has never had hiring or firing power at GitHub and will no longer be permitted in the office.
Wanstrath also thanks Horvath for her contributions to the company and openly apologizes to her.