Social Finance CEO Mike Cagney to Step After Claims of Sexual Harassment

Mike Cagney, CEO, Chairman and co-founder of SoFi, speaks during the TechCrunch Disrupt event in New York City, U.S., May 16, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Mike Cagney, chief executive of high-profile online lender Social Finance, said he will step down by the end of the year, making him the latest Silicon Valley figure to resign amid claims of sexual harassment and unhealthy corporate culture.

Cagney, who cofounded the firm better known as SoFi in 2011, was named in a lawsuit filed last month that alleged he fostered a culture permissive of sexual harassment. In a blog post late Monday, Cagney said he would step down because “the combination of HR-related litigation and negative press have become a distraction from the company’s core mission.”

He said he wants the company to focus on growth, something that “can’t happen as well as it should if people are focused on me, which isn’t fair to our members, investors, or you.”

The company also announced that Cagney, a former Wells Fargo trader and software entrepreneur, has already been replaced as SoFi’s chairman. SoFi’s board elected Tom Hutton, an early investor and board member, will take over as chairman.

Last month, former employee Brandon Charles sued SoFi, saying he had been fired for speaking out against a company manager for openly discussing sexual acts with two younger female employees at the company’s office in Healdsburg in Sonoma County. Charles later amended the suit to include Cagney as a named defendant, alleging the CEO fostered a culture that allowed sexual harassment to continue unabated.

Cagney wrote in a company blog post earlier this month that SoFi had hired an outside attorney to investigate the claims in Charles’ suit and that sexual harassment “has no place at SoFi.”

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Source: LA Times