We demand Gurbaksh Chahal resign as CEO of RadiumOne after his conviction of domestic violence
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On August 5, 2013, Gurbaksh Chahal, one of the most successful and celebrated entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley, presently CEO and chairman RadiumOne, was allegedly caught on tape at his San Francisco penthouse brutally and repeatedly beating his girlfriend, Juliet K. for half an hour, hitting her 117 times. The criminal complaint filed last August accused Chahal of hitting Juliet K. repeatedly in the head, smothering her with a pillow, dragging her from the bed to the floor, covering her mouth with his hand to obstruct her breathing, hitting her in the lower body approximately 15 times, hitting her in the head while holding his other hand over her mouth, threatening to kill her, and confining her to a bed by force and fear. Despite being charged with 45 felony counts and pleading guilty to a pair of misdemeanors, one count of domestic violence battery and one count of battery, Chahal skirted around the much weightier felony charges through the acquisition of a high profile team of lawyers, who ultimately exploited a technicality that enabled him to get off merely with a legal wrist slap. He was sentenced to three years probation, 25 hours of community service, a 52-week domestic-violence training program, and zero jail time. This story broke on April 23rd and public outrage has rightly ensued.
The legal system was not able to obtain justice in this situation by forcing Gurbaksh Chahal to take responsibility for his actions, so now we the people are demanding that justice is served.
We the undersigned demand that Gurbaksh Chahal in the next 72 hours:
1) Resigns from his position as CEO and chairman of RadiumOne
2) Writes a public letter of apology taking responsibility for his actions
3) Donates a significant amount to a local San Francisco Domestic Violence Organization
Why are we demanding resignation?
Because Gurbaksh is not currently morally equipped to be CEO of a soon to be public company, or any company for that matter. Leaders must have a moral compass. And until he takes responsibility for his actions he is morally bankrupt. Simply put, psychologically mature people do not assert their power through violence. We cannot stand by and implicitly support the leadership of someone who unabashedly commits domestic battery to any degree.
It also should be recognized that this event is bigger than Gurbaksh Chahal. This incident is a microcosm representative of bigger trends currently affecting society.
This incident represents:
1) Multi-millionaires trying to avoid taking responsibilities for their actions by buying their way out of trouble.
2) An affront to the principles of Silicon Valley and the Information Economy at large; principles like transparency, equality, and integrity.
Silicon Valley is one of the world’s largest epicenters of economic growth and job growth. That's a tremendous responsibility, and one that cannot be taken lightly or overlooked. The foundation of upholding that responsibility is the culture we create, and what we establish as standards of health and standards of pathology. How can our high-minded principles hold any weight if we do not enforce them we then are so grossly violated?
3) Gurbaksh Chahal’s act of domestic abuse was an heinous act, and is representative of one of the biggest festering pathologies in Silicon Valley: sexism and misogyny.
If Silicon Valley is going to be the bastion of the new world information economy, we must develop a culture that respects and honors the gifts of men and women equally.
How can we turn a blind eye and let Gurbaksh stay in power when his acts are such an affront to that mission of equality? Moreover, how can any women in RadiumOne possibly feel safe and empowered when they know their CEO has domestically abused his girlfriend and escaped with a mere legal wrist slap? How can people take a stand against any smaller actions that insidiously undermine the mission of equality for women, such as being overlooked for promotions or being overlooked for fundraising dollars or even having their good ideas ignored by men in meetings, if far more egregious acts like domestic abuse go essentially unpunished?
We're a community of entrepreneurs, technologists and Bay Area residents who will not.
Thus, we the undersigned are demanding Gurbaksh Chahal’s resignation and we will not quit until justice is duly restored.
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