SAN FRANCISCO—Interim reddit CEO Ellen Pao, a former junior partner at Silicon Valley venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins, finally took the stand today in the high-profile gender discrimination case that she brought against the firm three years ago. Pao maintained a firm tone throughout the day, even looking at the jury occasionally while answering questions from her lawyer about her early days at Kleiner.
It’s the first opportunity that Pao has taken to elaborate on the gender discrimination claims she made in 2012. And the questioning started by going all the way back to the day Pao was hired at Kleiner Perkins.
Pao, a Mandarin-speaking, Princeton-educated engineer with law and business degrees from Harvard, applied to Kleiner Perkins in 2005. At the time, the firm was looking to expand its investments in China. She seemed like a perfect fit, her lawyer Therese Lawless said. In addition to Pao’s language skills, she had years of experience working with 90’s startups like WebTV, Tell Me Networks, and Danger Research (whose team went on to join the team that created Android). She also spent time with bigger companies like Microsoft and BEA Systems.
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