Yahoo vice president of engineering Maria Zhang, a former Seattle-area startup founder, is talking publicly about the legal battle she’s navigated for the past 18 months. In December, the former female employee who accused Zhang of sexual harassment dropped the allegations, and the dispute was resolved without any monetary payment.
“And now,” Zhang says, “finally, I’m able to tell my side of the story.”
In a piece published by the Huffington Post, Zhang writes about the trying legal proceedings and what she describes as a vindicating resolution.
“The first thing I felt at that moment, surprisingly, was disbelief,” she says. “After a year and a half of depositions, discoveries, motions, interrogatories, I was resolved to go to trial, to fight this to the end until the truth prevailed. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing: The truth finally prevailed.”
After conducting an internal investigation, Yahoo gave Zhang its full support during the legal battle.
“I am deeply appreciative of all the support from Yahoo, my managers, colleagues and their decision to stand by me,” writes Zhang. “Throughout the 18 most grueling, difficult months of my life, it was their support that allowed me to find the strength to continue to stay focused on my work, on my family, and pursue my passion to build great software.”
Zhang has been part of the Yahoo team since 2013, when the tech giant acquired her Bellevue-based startup, Alike. Before founding Alike, an app for restaurant and entertainment recommendations, Zhang had a long career at Seattle-area tech companies, including Zillow and Microsoft.
“Now that this is over, I don’t want to be a crusader driving some social agenda, or remain a victim of false accusation,” she says. “I look forward to going back to the journey I started when I unboxed my first computer, to building great software with the power to help people be more productive, entertain them, guide them to useful information, and connect them to other people and ideas everywhere.”