Urban Airship CEO Takes Leave Of Absence Amid Sexual Assault Allegations

Scott Kveton, former Urban Airship CEO.

Scott Kveton, cofounder of Portland startup Urban Airship, is leaving his position as CEO and  taking an indefinite leave of absence following allegations of sexual assault.

Urban Airship provides push-notification management and technology for mobile marketers. Its customers include companies like Polyvore, Walgreen’s, and CBS. The company’s chief financial officer Mike Temple will take over the interim CEO role.

Kveton has not been charged with any crime, but Portland police are investigating accusations stemming from a former girlfriend that claim Kveton sexually assaulted her in 2012 and 2013. The current investigation follows two similar accusations the woman reported to police in 2010 and 2011.

In 2010, ReadWrite described Kveton as “a dynamic, intelligent, skilled and flawed human being.” Before founding Urban Airship, he helped spread the Firefox Web browser and the Linux operating system, amid other contributions to the world of open-source technology. 

In a letter to employees, which was posted on Urban Airship’s website, Kveton said this transition has been in the works for months, and will be a smooth one.

It hit me a few months ago that it was time for me to step aside. I met with our board of directors in June and told them I felt it was time to start looking for Urban Airship’s next CEO. They agreed, and we selected an executive search firm to start the process, which has been underway for a few weeks now.

In a Forbes profile last month, Kveton said he hoped to take the company public, though gave no definitive timeline.

The blossoming Portland community was stunned into what one tech leader called “deafening silence,” with the news of the allegations against Kveton, who The Oregonian called “perhaps the single most visible figure in Portland’s ongoing tech renaissance.”

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