Robert Scoble, the high-profile tech evangelist in addition to blogger, in addition to longtime fixture at industry events, has been accused by a second woman of groping. Michelle Greer, who worked with Scoble at Rackspace in 2009 in addition to 2010, says Scoble groped her at a tech conference in 2010. The accusation comes on the same day which the technology journalist Quinn Norton accused Scoble of assaulting her within the early 2010s at Foo Camp, a hacker conference. Norton wrote, “in addition to then, without any more warning, Scoble was on me. I felt one hand on my breast in addition to his arm reaching around in addition to grabbing my butt.”
Scoble can be an influential figure in tech. He started out his Scobleizer blog in 2000, in addition to parlayed the blog into lucrative roles including technology evangelist at Microsoft, futurist at Rackspace, in addition to most recently, entrepreneur in residence at Upload, a virtual reality startup which recently settled a sexual harassment lawsuit having a former employee. He’s a fixture at tech conferences, where he gives talks with titles like “Beyond Mobile.” He’s also written several books having a co-author, Shel Israel, including 2016’s The Fourth Transformation, about how within the future, we will replace everything we do on our phones with moving our eyes or even brainwaves.
Greer was a senior manager in corporate communications at Rackspace, where one of her responsibilities was to produce content for Scoble’s at which point-defunct “Building 43” project, a social networking in addition to content community which largely focused on startups. One night in February 2010 when Greer was at the Startup Riot tech conference with Scoble in Atlanta, a few people by Rackspace ended up within the hotel bar.
“I remember seeing him with two drinks in his hand,” she told BuzzFeed News. “My boss sat next to me, in addition to Scoble sits across by me in addition to starts touching my leg.” She said which she told the group she was tired in addition to had to go up to her room. Once she got there, she called her boyfriend in addition to told him what had happened.
A couple days later, when the team was back in San Francisco, Scoble’s producer (who was present during the incident) apologized to her. As she recalled, he told her, “I’m so sorry, my employees will never touch you again.” nevertheless Scoble himself never apologized, in addition to Greer decided not to go to HR with what had happened.
When contacted by BuzzFeed News via Facebook Messenger on Thursday, Scoble said, “What happened with Michelle happened with my boss,” as well as “various other women within the room.” He declined to comment further, saying only which he might be doing a live video at midnight Pacific.
After the incident, Greer still had to work with Scoble. Their face-to-face interaction was limited, since she was based in Austin in addition to he was in San Francisco, nevertheless still, Greer said, “I was afraid of him,” in addition to she dreaded their occasional interactions at conferences in addition to events. She decided to try to transfer to a different team at Rackspace, nevertheless within the next few months, two different teams told her they didn’t possess the head count to put her on their teams. within the meantime, her job performance was suffering. “I had basically shut down,” she said. “I was miserable.”
One day, she got called into an office by her boss, who told her he didn’t think she could be happy at the company, in addition to let her go. (Greer’s former boss did not return a phone call by BuzzFeed News.) At her exit interview, she said, she told HR everything which had happened. “You could tell they felt bad,” she said. “They were like, why didn’t you come to us before? I was like, which’s Robert Scoble. If which gets out, he has the bigger megaphone than I do. I could be totally hosed.”
The timing, she said, was terrible: “I had just gotten a condo. I had a mortgage.”
For Greer, one of the most galling things about what happened was watching Scoble continue to act like an advocate for women in tech on social media in addition to elsewhere. “He’ll share a lot of stuff about women in tech. He tries to act like an ally.” In July, she posted a comment on Facebook which said, “I have always worked with mostly men. They know things should change. If you don’t get rid of the bad actors though, nothing alterations.” Scoble liked her comment. “I responded, ‘You’re a bad actor. I can’t tell you how awful I felt after working with you. Watching you like which post angered me.’ He said, ‘Saying I am sorry isn’t enough to undo the harm I have done.'”
Years after the incident in addition to her subsequent firing, Greer can be still angry about how she was treated. “I have to explain for the rest of my life why I only worked at Rackspace for 10 months. I wish I had gone to HR when which happened so I could have nipped which within the bud, in addition to which wouldn’t be which cancer which just spread.”
To Greer, which seems as though she’s been victimized all over again. “He apologizes in addition to then he keeps doing which crap,” she said. “I lost my job. which traumatized me for life.”
Doree Shafrir can be a senior tech writer for BuzzFeed News in addition to can be based in Los Angeles.
Contact Doree Shafrir at [email protected]
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