Sexual harassment suit derails publication of book co-written by a chief executive

NEW YORK (Bloomberg) - Penguin Random House pulled plans to publish a book co-written by venture capitalist John Doerr and BetterWorks Systems chief executive Kris Duggan following a sexual harassment and assault suit against the latter.

Ms Beatrice Kim, a former employee at BetterWorks, last week sued Duggan and two other executives at the startup, alleging they created a hostile workplace for women.

The suit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court, includes allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

The suit is among recent allegations by women working in the male-dominated technology sector who, once silent, are now coming forward with stories of mistreatment.

Uber Technologies is attempting to overhaul its culture following a detailed account of sexual harassment by engineer Susan Fowler.

Venture investors Justin Caldbeck at Binary Capital, Dave McClure at 500 Startups and Frank Artale at Ignition Partners have resigned following accounts of their mistreatment of women.

Penguin said on Monday it was holding publication of Measure What Matters, written by Duggan and Doerr, chairman of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and board member at BetterWorks. 

The book focuses on goal setting and performance practices, using examples of musician and investor Bono, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Alphabet's Google.

BetterWorks said it received a complaint from Ms Kim in late 2016.

Its board hired an independent investigator who concluded that none of the company's policies was violated, according to a statement from the board.