Homeless hater Greg Gopman was a jerk at the office, too

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Former AngelHack CEO Greg Gopman
Via Gopman's Facebook.

Former AngelHack CEO Greg Gopman not only fanned the flames of San Franciscan tech resentment by calling the homeless “degenerates” and “trash” on Facebook, but it seems people in his own company didn’t like him much, either. 

Apparently the small staff of AngelHack rebelled against Gopman’s management style, leading to a power swap in October, said new AngelHack CEO Sabeen Ali. It all started when she took a vacation.

“I stepped away for a couple weeks, took some time off,” she told the Guardian. “In that time things got so bad in the company Greg and I had a very frank conversation and mutually decided it would be the best thing to do.” 

Just what he did at work to cause so much trouble wasn’t clear, but his Facebook page offered a few hints. 

The day Gopman made his disparaging remarks about the homeless, the Guardian perused his Facebook posts. We discovered a photo of him posing with four young women in China captioned “I could do worse,” and other comments such as “It’s like a hackathon, but with more girls” at a design conference. Also: “Dear diary, why are girls on South Beach so trashy?” 

gopman facebook post

Noting that most of the employees listed on AngelHack’s website were female, we asked Ali if his issues around the office had to do with his attitude towards women. 

“Yes,” she replied, but would not elaborate. Gopman didn’t hire AngelHack’s female employees himself, she clarified -- they were mostly from her social network. 

Ultimately, it was best for all sides that he left, she said.

“We don’t have that large of a team. I can say very confidently Greg was on one side and we were on another. It was a snowball effect, because of certain incidents that happened,” Ali said, though she would not clarify what those incidents were. 

Ali maintained that Gopman stepped down in October. When asked why he was listed as CEO on the AngelHack website up until the day of his inflammatory comments, Ali said that they were working on a new website and were intent on announcing the CEO change when they launched it. 

“We were days away, days away, from making an announcement,” she said, mentioning an internal email announcing the swap. She wouldn’t show us the email. 

Ali said AngelHack will soon host a hackathon called “Code for a Cause SF” to help rebuild bridges with the community that Gopman burnt.

“We want to work with current nonprofits to build them a website, or an e-commerce portal for a website. We’re working on that right now to get a sense for who we can partner with,” she told us. 

They’re still looking for a venue, but hope to host the event in January. 

And while Ali is trying to distance AngelHack from Gopman as much as she can, Mayor Ed Lee seems to be pulling him closer. 

Mayor Ed Lee announced he would ask Gopman for help in tackling the homeless problem, the San Francisco Examiner reported. 

“Benioff has shown what he can do. Yelp and Jeremy Stoppelman are showing what they can do. There are going to be so many others as long as they keep an open mind,” Lee told the Examiner. Apparently having the keen sensibility to insult vast swaths of people are just the credentials needed to weigh in on how to help them.

Lee hosted a luncheon with Ron Conway and other tech luminaries just today to talk about what tech could do to help the community. We’ve reached out to his office from comment, but have not yet heard back from them. 

“Working in startups is not rocket science,” Gopman said in a Ted Talk on tech startups two years ago. “So the next time someone asks you for career advice and what they should do in the future, tell them about an industry that’s changing the world.”

He’s certainly reached the world. Just maybe not in the way he’d have hoped. 

Nonprofits can contact Ali at sabeen@angelhack.com

Gopman speaks at a Ted Talk event, via YouTube.

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