Why Kleiner Perkins Should Sue Ellen Pao

Why Kleiner Perkins Should Sue Ellen Pao

News broke that Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the prestigious venture capital firm, is offering serial liar and opportunist Ellen Pao a deal to pay its one million dollar court costs and not tarnish its name by dragging the case further.

The offer was made in filings this week in California Superior Court in San Francisco. The firm said the case, which drew waves of negative publicity for the firm, cost it $972,815 in witness fees, deposition and court reporter costs.

As the winning party, KPCB is requesting the former associate, Ellen Pao, to reimburse it for these bills. But if she forgoes any appeal and lets the case die, the firm will forgive and forget, or at least move on.

Debra S. Katz, a Washington, D.C., lawyer who specializes in gender discrimination suits, said Kleiner sounded a little punitive.

“If Kleiner wanted to look classy, it could have said, ‘This was hard fought and we obviously disagree with your view, but it’s in the interest of all parties to walk away. In the meantime, there have been lessons learned and we are going to fund organizations that focus on glass ceiling issues,’ ” Ms. Katz said.

Ms. Katz is dead wrong. Ellen Pao, who somehow landed a CEO gig at tech company Reddit, should be made to account for her criminal actions.

Ms. Pao deliberately slept with a partner in a sophisticated scheme to blackmail the company into promoting her. When the firm caught onto her actions she pursued the case in court, claiming it was a gender issue. She dragged both Kleiner and gender diversity in the workplace through the mud. The former has every right to seek redress while the latter needs to loudly and vocally condemn her actions to disassociate from her selfish actions.

Pao is a fraud who sets hardworking women everywhere back 30 years. By falsely playing the gender discrimination card she devalues a serious issue and makes it harder for legitimate victims of discrimination to be taken seriously. She hurts the credibility of hard working American women everywhere.

Like all fraudsters, Ms. Pao should be publicly shamed and personally made to pay for her crimes in every way possible. Women everywhere need to condemn her actions and use her case as a textbook example of ways to set back women's causes. There is nothing about Ms. Pao that is aligned with women's issues anywhere. To use her case as any sort of victory is disingenuous.

Kleiner is right to go after her. Women everywhere should as well.

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