A lawsuit filed in San Francisco County Superior Court has brought serious allegations against the former CEO of Tradeshift, a well-known business-software company based in San Francisco. The lawsuit accuses the former CEO, identified as Lanng, of enslaving and sexually abusing his executive assistant, referred to as Jane Doe.
The case began to garner attention in October when Tradeshift announced Lanng’s termination due to “gross misconduct on multiple grounds,” citing allegations of sexual assault and harassment. Lanng has denied these allegations, claiming that no formal complaint had been filed against him within the company’s HR department.
In the lawsuit, Jane Doe details her experiences while working under Lanng, alleging that she was coerced into signing a “slave contract” which subjected her to rape, sexual abuse, torture, and assault. This contract reportedly demanded her constant sexual availability and included provisions for various sadomasochistic acts.
Doe asserts that she reported her situation to Tradeshift’s HR department and company officials, but instead of receiving support, she was terminated in 2020. The lawsuit does not specify the exact duration of her employment at Tradeshift.
A copy of the alleged contract, attached to the lawsuit, details requirements for mandatory sexual acts, appearance standards, and punishments, including physical and humiliating actions. The contract stipulated avoiding permanent harm or death.
The lawsuit claims that Doe endured physical and sexual abuse, including beatings and assaults with inanimate objects. She also alleges that she was compelled to maintain a diary documenting her subjugation, under the threat of violence for non-compliance. According to the lawsuit, she signed the contract out of fear for her job security and belief in her contributions to the company.
Additionally, the lawsuit mentions that Tradeshift had previously received evidence of serious sexual misconduct complaints against Lanng from another woman. Despite a settlement agreement between Lanng and Doe in May 2022, the lawsuit alleges that Lanng did not comply with its payment terms.
The lawsuit suggests that Doe may not be the only victim of Lanng’s alleged abuse and that she has been in contact with other individuals who reportedly suffered similar experiences during Lanng’s tenure at Tradeshift.
The allegations, if proven, reveal a disturbing pattern of behavior by a high-ranking executive in the tech industry. This case has raised questions about the industry’s internal policies and the mechanisms in place to protect employees from such abuse.
As the lawsuit proceeds, the public and the tech community await further developments and Tradeshift’s response to these serious allegations. The case is poised to have significant implications for Tradeshift and potentially the broader tech industry.