New Enterprise Associates Fails to Silence Protests against WebEx Founder and Venture Capitalist Over Alleged Rape of Daughter

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Gun-toting former business partner of Min Zhu, Michael Zeleny, to continue protests at headquarters of WebEx and New Enterprise Associates

Following two weeks of protests at New Enterprise Associates (NEA) organized by Michael Zeleny, against his former business partner Min Zhu, co-founder and former President and CTO of WebEx and former NEA Venture Partner, NEA’s voluminous application for a temporary restraining order was denied in response to a 15-page opposition by Zeleny’s attorney David W. Affeld.

Filed Tuesday, 5 October 2010 in San Mateo County Superior Court by NEA’s corporate counsel, as part of Case No. CIV499465, the restraining order sought to prevent Zeleny from protesting outside NEA’s offices. Zeleny and his associates have appeared at the corporate headquarters of New Enterprise Associates in Menlo Park and Cisco WebEx in Santa Clara nearly every weekday for the last two weeks, accompanied by live musicians and large signs bearing the portraits of Min Zhu, Subrah Iyar of WebEx, and Scott Sandell of NEA. At each appearance, Zeleny has carried a Winchester 12 gauge shotgun slung over his shoulder and a bandolier of ammunition across his chest. Menlo Park and Santa Clara police have been present at each protest.

This is not the first NEA application for a restraining order against Zeleny to be denied. According to the TRO application, Case No. CIV499465, an earlier application for a restraining order made in 2009 by Scott Sandell of NEA against Zeleny was denied for legal impropriety. Sandell never notified Zeleny of the application.

Citing testimony given in sworn deposition by Min Zhu’s daughter Erin, that she was brutally raped by her father at the age of fourteen, presented as evidence in Santa Clara Superior Court case number CV809286, Zeleny maintains that executives accused of rape by family members and those who enable them have no place in positions of public trust. Zeleny has been protesting against Min Zhu and his partners Subrah Iyar and Scott Sandell since 2005.

On 13 May 2005, following previous protests by Zeleny, WebEx announced Min Zhu’s sudden “retirement” and his relocation to China. Following his departure from WebEx, Min Zhu co-founded Northern Light, a venture capital fund, in partnership with Scott Sandell of NEA. Currently he also operates Cybernaut China Venture Capital, which bills itself as “one of China’s pioneering investment fund”.

Scott Sandell is a General Partner at New Enterprise Associates in Menlo Park and is responsible for NEA’s activities in China. New Enterprise Associates bills itself as “the largest VC firm in the country”. Numerous variations on this billing occur in its court filings against Zeleny.

Subrah Iyar co-founded WebEx with Min Zhu and served as its Chief Executive Officer and the Chairman of its board. He has been designated as Cisco’s Chief Strategy Officer and apparently continues to oversee the operations of WebEx.

Zeleny views these protests as open-ended, and says that he will continue his campaign as long as needed.

Zeleny maintains a website dedicated to Min Zhu, Subrah Iyar and Scott Sandell at http://www.subrah.com/.

Zeleny’s protests alternate between New Enterprise Associates, 2855 Sand Hill Road, Menlo Park, CA 94025, and Cisco/WebEx, 3979 Freedom Circle, Santa Clara, CA 95054 from 10 AM to 5 PM.

Contact Zeleny for their current schedule by phone at 323-363-1860 or email at zeleny(at)post(dot)harvard(dot)edu.

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Michael Zeleny

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