Risevest CEO and co-founder steps aside indefinitely following allegations of misconduct
Startups Technology

Risevest CEO and co-founder steps aside indefinitely following allegations of misconduct

Following allegations of sexual and non-sexual misconduct, an investor investigation panel has advised Risevest co-founder Eke Urum to step down as CEO. According to Techpoint Africa, this was confirmed in an official statement dated August 19, 2022, and also revealed that Tony Odiba, the startup’s Head of Operations, will serve as interim CEO.
A three-person panel has been formed to investigate these claims independently. The investigation panel, chaired by TVC Labs’ Tomi Davies (TD), includes TLP Advisory’s Odunoluwa Longe as legal adviser and The People Practice’s Toun Tunde-Anjous as people and culture adviser. This action is thought to have been prompted by several harassment allegations against the founder. While the investment-tech founder has agreed to step down, the investigation panel is hopeful that testimonies from former and current employees will shed more light.

“Following allegations of sexual and non-sexual impropriety from someone who can be reasonably expected to have knowledge of such, investors of Risevest have asked Eke Urum to step aside from his role as founder and CEO and an independent investigation is ongoing,” a part of the statement reads.

Eke claims he has no idea who is behind the allegation and is waiting for the investigation to conclude. Throughout his conversation with TechCabal, Eke insisted on not making predictions about the outcome of the investigation.

Eke was accused of non-sexual workplace misconduct in 2021 after a disagreement with the then-Head of Marketing, Efe Uduigwomen. The disgruntled ex-employee complained about the startup’s unhealthy work culture. Risevest investors, on the other hand, attempted in the statement to allay any financial misappropriation fears that might arise when an investment platform that claims to help thousands of people invest in various investment portfolios is in the news for the wrong reasons.

In a Medium post, Efe Uduigwomen accused Eke of creating a suffocating work environment where criticism was frowned upon. Uduigwomen, the startup’s head of marketing before leaving, accused Eke of breach of contract because he fired her for refusing to work at the startup’s physical office due to COVID concerns. Eke initially described the allegations as “blatant half-truths.” However, in a subsequent interview with TechCabal, he apologized and accepted responsibility for the allegations.

This is the latest in a string of incidents in which Nigerian tech CEOs have been made to step aside for misconduct.

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