Inside a Powerful Silicon Valley Charity, a Toxic Culture Festered

Inside a Powerful Silicon Valley Charity, a Toxic Culture Festered

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It was a distinction that grated on former employees. “This guy is enabling bullying in the workplace, then he’s walking around promoting philanthropy,” Ms. Dupras said.

After the allegations first surfaced last month, Mr. Carson took to Twitter.

“I am responsible for workplace culture,” he wrote. “I am deeply troubled and regret that former staff felt they could not report inappropriate behavior and urge any other staff to come forward. Listening and fixing this is Priority#1.”

But a former employee, Maria Moreno, quickly called out Mr. Carson.

“Please stop acting like you did not know!” she wrote on Twitter. “I reported both you & Mari Ellen to HR July 2017. At the end of the day, I was the one who had to leave the foundation bc it was a toxic work environment.”

The next week, a group of current 65 staff members sent the foundation’s board a statement that accused the foundation’s leadership team, including Mr. Carson, of ignoring complaints about Ms. Loijens.

“They knew about her behavior,” read the statement, a copy of which was reviewed by The Times. “And, through their inaction, senior leadership and HR has created and reinforced a toxic culture of fear, blame and intimidation.”

Within days, Mr. Carson was placed on leave and the human resources director, Daiva Natochy, had left the foundation.

The foundation’s interim director, Greg Avis, acknowledged the upheaval in a recent open letter, and pledged to repair the damage. “I am acutely aware of the current challenges our organization faces,” he wrote. “Emerging as a stronger organization is our sole objective.”

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