After sexual assault allegations, Robert Scoble issues public apology

23 Oct 2017

Robert Scoble in 2013. Image: Thomas Hawk/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Some of Silicon Valley’s biggest names are being put under the spotlight of late, with Robert Scoble now being accused of sexual harassment.

He may be remembered for his ill-advised decision to get into the shower with a Google Glass device, but Robert Scoble has now spoken out after accusations of sexual harassment were directed at him this past week.

The incidents were alleged by journalist Quinn Norton to have happened over the past two years, with similar comments also said to her by other women who knew him.

According to her account, she met Scoble at an outdoor event and saw him getting close with an inebriated woman, before later attempting to grope Norton herself.

Another woman who worked with Scoble at Rackspace, Michelle Greer, has also separately claimed that she was sexually harassed by him.

Now, the former Microsoft and Fast Company figure has publicly apologised for his actions on his Facebook page.

“I have damaged the trust many people had in me. I have made many steps in my life to try to improve, including getting sober more than two years ago.

“I have committed to making amends where appropriate and to living a life of transparency, integrity and honesty.

“I’m deeply sorry to the people I’ve caused pain to. I know I have behaved in ways that were inappropriate. I apologise for that. The question is not if it happened or if anyone got hurt (they did) but how can I do better?”

Spotlight on Silicon Valley

According to USA Today, Scoble has now resigned from his partner position at consultancy business Transformation Group and will cancel all public activities for at least a year.

Scoble’s business partner, Shel Israel, said he hoped “this leads to him correcting his behaviour in a way that is permanent”.

Much like Hollywood’s impropriety being exposed following allegations made against producer Harvey Weinstein, Silicon Valley is now facing similar scrutiny with a number of claims made regarding powerful men in tech abusing their power.

Last July, Dave McClure of 500 Startups was removed from day-to-day operations at the accelerator over claims of sexual harassment made against him.

Other Silicon Valley venture capitalists involved in similar controversy include Chris Sacca and Justin Caldbeck.

Robert Scoble in 2013. Image: Thomas Hawk/Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0)

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic