Software boss under investigation for sexual assault takes leave of absence

by: URBAN AIRSHIP - Urban Airship CEO Scott Kveton stepped aside Tuesday  July 9

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Portland mobile software company Urban Airship, has taken an immediate and extended leave of absence. In a statement to staff which was also published on the company’s public blog, Kveton said he had been planning to leave anyway but was speeding up the process. He is under investigation into whether he sexually assaulted a former longtime girlfriend, as reported by The Oregonian last Wednesday.

Kveton, 40, wrote: “It hit me a few months ago that it was time for me to step aside. I met with our board of directors in June and told them I felt it was time to start looking for Urban Airship’s next CEO.”

The former girlfriend shared texts and emails between the two with The Oregonian, painting a picture of a turbulent relationship which the unnamed woman compared to the erotic novel “50 Shades of Grey.”

The company's chief financial officer, Mike Temple, becomes interim CEO.

A star of the Portland tech scene with hundreds of employees in the Vestas building, Urban Airship calls itself a Mobile Relationship Management company. It provides software for brands such as ESPN to push messages to mobile devices. The company has raised $46 million in venture funding from VCs such as True Ventures, The Foundry Group and August Capital.

Fear of backers pulling out from a tainted brand is often a reason for replacing a CEO who has come under a cloud, even while he is innocent until proved guilty.

After singing Urban Airships praises some more, Kveton signed off,

“Thanks for the ride we have all shared. The view from the Airship has been amazing and the horizon holds fantastic promise.”

Full statement:

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