Mike Cagney, CEO of San Francisco-based Social Finance, better known as SoFi, directly addressed the sexual harassment allegations against the company in an email to employees.
The email, which was published in a blog on the company’s website, stressed that SoFi does not tolerate this type of behavior and is conducting an investigation into the allegations.
From the email to employees:
SoFi is based on the values of speed, transparency and alignment. To that end, I have some thoughts to share with you related to the two lawsuits filed earlier this month.
While we’re confident in our positions in these cases, we take these types of claims seriously. Our legal team is hard at work preparing our responses, and as part of that work, we’ve had many discussions with current and former employees about these issues.
Cagney continued the post, saying:
To be blunt, that kind of behavior has no place at SoFi, and we’re not going to tolerate it.
These allegations are being thoroughly investigated by outside attorneys we have engaged. To the extent we determine that there is any truth to the allegations, swift and severe action will be taken. Jing will be following up with an anonymous means for employees to provide our counsel information that could be helpful to their investigation.
A former employee filed one of the lawsuits against SoFi in mid-August, claiming that managers fired him for reporting sexual harassment and fraudulent action.
SoFi noted in its blog that the same lawyer involved in both lawsuits against the company has been trying to collect information relating to alleged sexual harassment at the company.
The allegations deal with improper activity at SoFi’s Healdsburg operations office, which is also located in California.
The investigation into one of the mortgage industry’s fastest-growing companies comes at time of heightened awareness into improper behavior at start-ups, as Huge Martin stated in an article in the Los Angeles times.
From the article:
The executive board of ride-hailing company Uber recently hired a new chief executive to replace Travis Kalanick, who left amid complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination, bullying and retaliation at the San Francisco-based firm.
Also, Dave McClure, the founder of the business mentorship program 500 Startups, was stripped of his chief executive title this year following an internal investigation into his behavior toward women.
While SoFi got its start in student loans, it is now one of the largest online residential mortgage retailers, only breaking into the mortgage business about three years ago.