Computer and Tech

Another Woman Has Accused Robert Scoble of Sexual Harassment

Robert Scoble on the 'NEXT Berlin' convention in Berlin on on April 24, 2013

Dpa / AFP / Getty Pictures

Robert Scoble, the high-profile tech evangelist and blogger, and longtime fixture at business occasions, has been accused by a second girl of groping. Michelle Greer, who labored with Scoble at Rackspace in 2009 and 2010, says Scoble groped her at a tech convention in 2010. The accusation comes on the identical day that the know-how journalist Quinn Norton accused Scoble of assaulting her within the early 2010s at Foo Camp, a hacker convention. Norton wrote, “After which, with none extra warning, Scoble was on me. I felt one hand on my breast and his arm reaching round and grabbing my butt.”

Scoble is an influential figure in tech. He began his Scobleizer weblog in 2000, and parlayed the weblog into profitable roles together with know-how evangelist at Microsoft, futurist at Rackspace, and most lately, entrepreneur in residence at Add, a digital actuality startup that lately settled a sexual harassment lawsuit with a former worker. He's a fixture at tech conferences, the place he offers talks with titles like “Past Cellular.” He’s additionally written a number of books with a co-author, Shel Israel, together with 2016's The Fourth Transformation, about how sooner or later, we’ll substitute all the pieces we do on our telephones with shifting our eyes and even brainwaves.

Greer was a senior supervisor in company communications at Rackspace, the place considered one of her duties was to supply content material for Scoble's now-defunct “Building 43” project, a social networking and content material neighborhood that largely targeted on startups. One evening in February 2010 when Greer was on the Startup Riot tech convention with Scoble in Atlanta, a number of folks from Rackspace ended up within the lodge bar.

“I bear in mind seeing him with two drinks in his hand,” she instructed BuzzFeed Information. “My boss sat subsequent to me, and Scoble sits throughout from me and begins touching my leg.” She stated that she instructed the group she was drained and needed to go as much as her room. As soon as she acquired there, she referred to as her boyfriend and instructed him what had occurred.

A pair days later, when the staff was again in San Francisco, Scoble's producer (who was current throughout the incident) apologized to her. As she recalled, he instructed her, “I'm so sorry, my staff won’t ever contact you once more.” However Scoble himself by no means apologized, and Greer determined to not go to HR with what had occurred.

When contacted by BuzzFeed Information by way of Fb Messenger on Thursday, Scoble stated, “What occurred with Michelle occurred with my boss,” in addition to “different ladies within the room.” He declined to remark additional, saying solely that he can be doing a dwell video at midnight Pacific.

After the incident, Greer nonetheless needed to work with Scoble. Their face-to-face interplay was restricted, since she was primarily based in Austin and he was in San Francisco, however nonetheless, Greer stated, “I used to be afraid of him,” and dreaded their occasional interactions at conferences and occasions. She determined to attempt to switch to a distinct staff at Rackspace, however throughout the subsequent few months, two completely different groups instructed her they didn't have the top rely to place her on their groups. Within the meantime, her job efficiency was struggling. “I had mainly shut down,” she stated. “I used to be depressing.”

At some point, she acquired referred to as into an workplace by her boss, who instructed her he didn't assume she might be pleased on the firm, and let her go. (Greer's former boss didn’t return a cellphone name from BuzzFeed Information.) At her exit interview, she stated she instructed HR all the pieces that had occurred. “You can inform they felt unhealthy,” she stated. “They had been like, why didn't you come to us earlier than? I used to be like, it's Robert Scoble. If this will get out, he has the larger megaphone than I do. I might be completely hosed.”

The timing, she stated, was horrible: “I had simply gotten a condominium. I had a mortgage.”

For Greer, one of the galling issues about what occurred was watching Scoble proceed to behave like an advocate for ladies in tech on social media and elsewhere. “He'll share a number of stuff about ladies in tech. He tries to behave like an ally.” In July, she posted a touch upon Fb that stated “I’ve at all times labored with largely males. They know issues ought to change. For those who don't do away with the unhealthy actors although, nothing adjustments.” Scoble appreciated her remark. “I responded, 'You're a foul actor. I can't let you know how terrible I felt after working with you. Watching you want this submit angered me.' He stated, 'Saying I’m sorry isn't sufficient to undo the hurt I’ve executed.'”

Years after the incident and her subsequent firing, Greer continues to be offended about how she was handled. “I’ve to clarify for the remainder of my life why I solely labored at Rackspace for 10 months. I want I had gone to HR when it occurred so I may have nipped it within the bud, and it wouldn't be this most cancers that simply unfold.”

To Greer, it appears as if she's been re-victimized over again. “He apologizes after which he retains doing this crap,” she stated. “I misplaced my job. It traumatized me for all times.”

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