A payment-technology company that had some of the world’s biggest banks as backers has fired its chief executive officer amid allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
(Bloomberg) — A payment-technology company that had some of the world’s biggest banks as backers has fired its chief executive officer amid allegations of sexual assault and harassment.
Tradeshift Holdings Inc. dismissed its co-founder Christian Lanng due to “serious allegations of sexual assault and harassment” and “gross misconduct on multiple grounds,” the company, which is based in San Francisco and Copenhagen, said in a statement late Tuesday.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc. invested in the company in 2018, but sold its shares in 2021, a spokesman from the Wall Street firm said by email. HSBC Holdings Plc also bought a stake in 2018 and invested an additional $35 million in July. HSBC declined to comment.
Tradeshift’s board became aware of the allegations in late August and dismissed Lanng on Sept. 1, according to the statement. The US-Danish company has named Chief Revenue Officer James Stirk acting CEO until a permanent replacement is found, and said it will set up a “dedicated and anonymous whistle-blowing line” for its 800 employees.
Lanng denied the allegations.
“There has never been an HR case, complaint or formal allegation filed against me at Tradeshift,” Lanng said in a message sent to Bloomberg News. “I can categorically refute any of these allegations and stand by my tenure and leadership over the last years.”
Tradeshift, which operates in 13 countries, was valued at $2.7 billion in a 2021 financing round. Lanng and two other Danish entrepreneurs, Mikkel Hippe Brun and Gert Sylvest, formed the company under the name EasyTrade in 2005.
Hippe Brun said in a LinkedIn post on Tuesday that he’s leaving the payment company to focus on another startup.
(Updates to add other founder leaving in last paragraph. A previous version of the story was corrected to clarify Goldman sold its stake in 2021.)
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