Sherwin Pishevar, an investor who left Silicon Valley for Miami after being accused of sexual assault by many women in 2017 he resurfaced in a role that will look familiar to anyone who has followed his career. According to a new report, Pishevar is now the “vice chairman” of Yeezy, the consumer brand controlled by Kanye West, who legally changed its name to Ye last year.
In a story on Fox Business today about Ye’s decision to end his relationship with Gap (he ended their partnership earlier and plans to started its own retail stores), Pishevar was cited as an executive speaking for Ye, saying, “There is only one Ye . . . Its fingerprints are all over our modern lives, our culture, our clothes, our devices, our music. His influence changed the very design of our modern lives, and only one other person I can think of has that ability, and that was Steve Jobs.
While there’s no doubt that Yeh is the ultimate influencer, Pishevar has never been at a loss for often spectacular languageas long-time industry watchers will know.
He’s also known for hitching his wagon to power players and for exerting his own accompanying power — sometimes in disturbing ways.
A serial entrepreneur who sold mobile social gaming company in 2011 for an undisclosed sum, Pishevar joined Menlo Ventures later that year, convincing the firm to lead Uber’s Series B round. With Uber’s rising star, Pishevar – a self-promotion that has said he poured $4 million of his own money into the company—becoming a kind of de facto spokesperson for the firm, regularly tweeting about his relationship with then-CEO Travis Kalanick (he continues to do this) and less than three years later, using his rapidly accumulated wealth to co-found his own venture capital firm, Sherpa Capital.
Things were going very Pishevar’s way – he was attracting bigger and bigger stories for himself all the time in the media – until one of his projects, Hyperloop One, failed in a big way, with court trial filed by his co-founder in the venture accusing Pishevar of nepotism and worse. (One of the more salacious claims made by the co-founder was that Pishevar’s brother, brought in as the company’s highly paid general counsel, had threatened the co-founder by leaving a noose on his chair.)
It wasn’t long before those assault charges came, along with a rape charge in London. Pishevar has never been charged with a crime; meanwhile, none of the five women who spoke to Bloomberg in 2017 about Pishevar, saying he used his increasingly powerful position in the tech world to pursue romantic relationships and unwanted sexual contact, identified themselves publicly out of fear of consequences.
Apparently their fear was not unfounded. Pishevar is known to be controversial. It can also be intimidating, as this editor experienced firsthand before event on stage with him in 2016. (While Pishevar was charming leading into the sit-down, once backstage, Pishevar and several of his associates surrounded me until he warned in no uncertain terms that he would leave the live interview if I asked any questions about his business dealings .)
Either way, Pishevar left California after that and seems to have successfully reinvented himself in Miami, living generouslyfinding a new audience about his stories and investing in start-ups, not all of which succeeded.
Most notably, Pishevar lists Bolt Mobility on his LinkedIn page. But the startup, co-founded by famed Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, ran out of money this summer and abandoned hundreds of unusable electric scooters and bicycles at least eight American cities.
The attachment to Yeh—a towering, combative figure who, like Kalanick, does things his way—completes the picture in some ways. Now let’s see how long it lasts.