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.

Comments

Well it's an encouraging sign that the company seems to have forced out this asshole, but the new CEO is being rather cryptic. Is she really telling the whole story? Is this just an attempt at damage control? Sounds like the company is seriously afraid that the whole operation could go down the toilet because of this guy's general douchy-ness. It might yet happen, which may not be a bad thing. OTOH, if she's sincere we'll find out in due time.

What's really disturbing is Mayor Lee offering this guy a lifeline. It's like he's giving poor people and indeed, the entire San Francisco community, a big middle finger. Asking GOP-man for advice on solving the homeless problem is like asking David Duke on advice about how to tackle racism.

Posted by Greg definitely NOT Gopman on Dec. 16, 2013 @ 8:47 pm

Why is the SFBG bothering with this non-story, except of course as part of it's ongoing "War on Tech"?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 7:42 am

This is a big story to many San Franciscans. Gopman and his ilk are emblematic of a breed of newcomers who came to this city even though they have obvious contempt for it. They're creating devastating economic conditions for a lot of long-time residents in the process. As the reactions on the internet from both techies and everyone else demonstrate, it's not a one-off thing, and it's a big deal to the residents of the city.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 8:28 am

already lost the debate. There are tens of thousands of people who have come to SF for tech work, and that includes all kinds of people, including the odd asshole as well as the odd person who does great good, and all inbetween.

In fact, I doubt if the tech folks are, on average, any different from the people who are already here who, in many cases, came here for some kind of knowledge work themselves.

That's why it's dismissed as a "war on tech" rather than meaningful commentary.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 8:55 am

Most people I know don't dismiss this as a "war on tech." This comment board is the only place I've even heard the term. Virtually everyone I know acknowledges that the attitude of techies is a real problem. Sounds like you're the one losing the debate, and your friend GOPman is certainly not helping your cause. You can try to brush it under the rug as much as you want, but most folks aren't buying it.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 9:21 am

If I said that all artists are the same, or all blacks are the same, would that be OK?

Most tech workers are just ordinary people, much like you (but probably less socialist).

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 9:47 am
Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 9:59 am

Says the Guest who always stereotypes progressives.

Posted by Hortencia on Dec. 18, 2013 @ 10:00 am

sure that the rest of us will as well. It is used as a vehicle of hatred, no matter who does it.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2013 @ 10:41 am

What a stupid illogical thing to say.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 30, 2013 @ 10:38 am

white republicans is OK, but stereotyping black democrats is not.

Why the double standard?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 30, 2013 @ 10:55 am
Posted by marcos on Dec. 30, 2013 @ 2:20 pm

Where did he say that "all tech workers are the same?"

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2013 @ 12:44 am

"Virtually everyone I know acknowledges that the attitude of techies is a real problem"

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2013 @ 7:49 am

Whether or not techies are more socialist or progressive...
this anti-techie meme is giving progressives and socialists a worse rep than techies.

basically the anti-techie pattern here is: "if you are perceived to be slightly better off than someone else, and you appear to be mean or attack in any way ... you should be purged."

"if you are less fortunate or advocate for them, then you can be mean as you want and resort to any tactics as wanted -- including unethically trolling in a real life protest to appear as the other"

"if you don't have the same hobbies & interests as us, then you should be purged."
"if you make us _feel_ insecure or resentful -- yes -- our feelings, not yours, then you are bad and you should be purged."

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2013 @ 3:10 pm

hatred of classes of people like "rich white males" which has become a term of abuse.

Progressives have turned envy into an ideology. Very ugly.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2013 @ 3:22 pm

Wait, let me get this straight. Hating the homeless is a political issue? Conservatives are generally Xian, so is this a new religious movement?
Sounds like poor, white, ignorant males who expect to be rich as soon as they kick the juice. Ain't gonna happen Pat Robertson.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 30, 2013 @ 10:49 am

employ them to try and achieve a policy goal, regardless of who or what side.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 30, 2013 @ 11:08 am

We don't want to be the super rich, we want to eliminate them.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 19, 2014 @ 6:23 pm

All you are really showing here is that envy trumps reason for you.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2014 @ 7:18 pm

GO fuck yourself

Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2014 @ 4:45 pm
Posted by Guest on Jan. 19, 2014 @ 5:31 pm

You act as if that's something negative. You should really try it. It's relaxing and stimulating at the same time. I'm sorry you prefer shitting on yourself, but I like my clothes to smell nice.

Posted by The Real Guest on May. 29, 2014 @ 2:44 pm

@Greg - The spectacle of a "breed of newcomers" is neither accurate nor helpful. For starters, this guy's schtick is to organize events, which is a few steps away from being an actual techie. His sexist views may mesh well with a subset of techies known as "brogrammers," but sexism pervades everywhere. Not all techies are male, not all techie males are sexist pigs.

Posted by Jym on Dec. 19, 2013 @ 7:57 am

War on tech? Oh, you mean voices to be heard other than the voices of 20something yuppie do*chebags looking to get rich quick? Consider it a broadening of the discussion. Without SFBG the only thing being discussed in this city would be the latest round of VC financing and how to get rich as quickly as possible... Egghhh...

Posted by Guest on Dec. 20, 2013 @ 9:17 am

Then they used that stereotype to rationalize an attack on ordinary working people.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 20, 2013 @ 10:11 am

is probably being vague because there are legal ramifications for an employer who discusses an employee's (or former employee) work performance and reason behind their departure from a company. There would be absolutely no comment by the CEO if the company's reputation had not been damaged.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 8:05 am

Point taken. We'll see if her efforts are sincere.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 9:22 am

is probably being vague because there are legal ramifications for an employer who discusses an employee's (or former employee) work performance and reason behind their departure from a company. There would be absolutely no comment by the CEO if the company's reputation had not been damaged.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 8:12 am

and of course Lee's jump to help polish Gopman's scuffed black boots is no suprise.

Great comment about David Duke.

*while we shouldn't brand all techies as having the same appalling attitude as Gopman because of it, the obvious attempts by AngelHack personel to distance themselves from his behavior are nonetheless obvious: the supposed email (not produced) and the quite verisimilitudinous supposed intent to reveal the change with an upcoming website makeover.

**lilipublicans, real or fake?

Posted by lillipublicans** on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 9:25 am

rare thing. People have been saying that ever since I can remember. It's just "convenient" that this particular guy is a techie and SFBG wants to diss on all techies right now for ideological reasons.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 9:50 am

We are all horrified at the conditions that homeless people live in. That's not what Gopman's comments were about. He was expressing his disgust at them as human beings. He said their lives didn't have the slightest bit of worth (kind of like his shitty company, IMO). He said they should be swept aside to places where people like him wouldn't see them... like so much garbage.

You guys are digging yourselves deeper into a hole by defending him. Even his co-workers recognized that what he said was beyond the pale. Unfortunately some of his facebook friends did not, and that illustrates the problem with a lot of these techie types. Like Lillipublicans said, it's clearly not everyone, but enough of them have this 'tude that it's clearly a problem in the tech community.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 11:33 am

Someone can be horrified at the conditions that someone lives in AND, on a more personal level, horrified if they smell really bad, harass you in the street, urinate in front of you, shoot up or sell their ass in the gutter, or otherwise gross you out.

It's entirely possible to feel sorry for them but still not want to have to smell them, you know?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 11:52 am

This is a perfect example of a person that wants to point the finger at everyone else in life because he's no mirrors in his home.

Posted by Beth on Dec. 30, 2013 @ 12:57 pm

I'm educated, well read, and I can't figure out what this company does from its website?

Must be a generation gap thing. Or is a lot of this tech stuff a combination of a ponzi scheme and a circle jerk?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2013 @ 9:22 pm

A pyramid scheme for gullible investors. As far as I can tell, this company produces absolutely nothing of value. I hope the "angels" they're hacking for money are all rich, because they can afford to throw money down a rathole.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 16, 2013 @ 10:19 pm

" As far as I can tell, this company produces absolutely nothing of value."

Typical. The same for Twitter, which has never made a profit. I can't think of hardly any tech companies that produce anything of value. What most of them produce is mainly junk to waste one's time with.

Here's The Evidence That The Tech Sector Is In A Massive Bubble
http://www.businessinsider.com/evidence-that-tech-sector-is-in-a-bubble-...

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 4:08 am

"I can't think of hardly any tech companies that produce anything of value. What most of them produce is mainly junk to waste one's time with."

...says the poster on an internet forum that is supported by Google ads...

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 7:32 am

Tech gave him his only hobby - trolling.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 7:43 am

Yet another Inaccurate statement from you, the techie shill/hack: "...internet forum that is *supported by* Google ads... "

Accurate statement: "...internet forum that has INSTALLED Google ads..."

Only the BG staff know if the ads *support* the site in any way.
I don't click on ads on any site including this one, and I don't know anyone who does click on ads.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 9:28 pm

"I don't click on ads on any site including this one, and I don't know anyone who does click on ads."

$12,465,000,000.

That's how much money Google made in 2012 on the network ads such as the ones that the SFBG runs. http://investor.google.com/financial/tables.html

But thanks for the anecdotal note saying that you don't know anyone who clicks on ads and that the SFBG apparently has been running the Google ads for years for no reason. But if it is all the same to you I'm going to rely on the audited financial statements.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 10:37 pm

I already knew all of that, smug. But that doesn't at all mean that anyone clicks on them ON THIS SITE.

And the BG did have layoffs around the time that Tim Redmond left, so if ads are "supporting this site" (as you Omnipotently claim) they must be pretty lame in $$ amount.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 18, 2013 @ 4:13 pm

and comments on the appearance of bikini-clad women on the beach. Shocking stuff. I wonder if he had sex before marriage too?

Thanks for getting to the bottom of this SFBG.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2013 @ 9:24 pm

is ad's for prostitutes and what not.

The columnists pitch various sex clubs and does articles on Kink.com.

The Guardian bemoaned the loss of the Lusty Lady and would always pitch it's averageness every chance it had.

I'm sure all the people in the sex trade that the Guardian pitches are all class acts, having known some Kink LL people... ahem.

etc...

The Guardian doesn't mind making money off the tacky and stunted sex obsessed.

Posted by gust on Dec. 17, 2013 @ 12:59 am

I think its more about objectifying other humans. You know, what allows rapists, serial killers, and nazis to do their work. Well, you know.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 30, 2013 @ 10:53 am

You can stereotype people as long as it is people who stereotype?

Posted by Guest on Dec. 30, 2013 @ 11:09 am

Interesting.

The entire fashion industry is a cover for the gas oven industry.

Posted by Matlock on Dec. 30, 2013 @ 1:56 pm

"someone who could insult vast swaths of people are just the credentials needed to weigh in on how to help them."

Gotta love it. When a Progressive does it the term is "restorative justice". Giving someone a second chance and an opportunity to redeem themselves. It is a mainstay of Ross Mirkarimi's philosophy.

But when Ed Lee does it...bring on the SFBG ridicule machine. You know...because Ed Lee is doing it for some ulterior motive, he needs the support of this disgraced D level tech exec I guess.

At some point you just have to laugh at the mind boggling hypocrisy of the Bay Guardian.

I mean, what else can you do with it? But it is pathetic.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2013 @ 9:39 pm

Anything which challenges the hive mentality must be ruthlessly crushed before it threatens party orthodoxy. Greg is now an unperson subject to a progressive Two Minutes Hate in the party's main organ - the SFBG.

Posted by Guest on Dec. 16, 2013 @ 10:08 pm

What the *other* members of his company are doing, is restorative justice. I'm still not sure if it's sincere, or just an attempt at whitewashing their company's image, but either way any *substantive* help that they provide to the homeless is welcome.

But making GOPman an *advisor* on homeless issues is just rewarding him for his douchy-ness. If he wants to help, he can go volunteer in a soup kitchen, or donate a portion of his money to charity, not meet with the mayor to share his "ideas" on the homeless. His ideas ARE the problem, not the solution.

Posted by Greg on Dec. 16, 2013 @ 10:26 pm

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