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HSBC-backed Tradeshift fires CEO over sexual assault allegations

The B2B payments fintech said it has introduced a dedicated and anonymous whistleblowing line and is “committed to addressing complaints of workplace misconduct”

Tradeshift CEO

Christian Lanng/Tradeshift

Danish fintech Tradeshift has fired its CEO Christian Lanng amid allegations of sexual assault and harassment.

The B2B fintech released a statement saying that in late August the company’s board and management team were aware of “serious allegations of sexual assault and harassment” against Lang.

He was dismissed on 1 September for “gross misconduct on multiple grounds”.

Chief revenue officer James Stirk has taken on the role of interim CEO since Lanng left the company, and Tradeshift said it has added a dedicated and anonymous whistleblowing line to its global employee assistance programme it introduced last year.

“At Tradeshift, we are committed to addressing complaints of workplace misconduct without compromise,” the statement said.

“Ensuring a safe and supportive working environment for our team is our paramount priority. Our company handbook and code of conduct outline clear behavioural expectations and policies, and all employees participate in mandatory annual training on the prevention of workplace harassment.”

HSBC recently invested $35m in Tradeshift as the two companies launched an embedded finance venture together, building on its participation in its Series A funding round in 2018. 

Goldman Sachs also invested in the company in 2018 but sold its shares in 2021.

Lanng, who shared the news of his departure on LinkedIn last month saying he was “really, really burned out”, denied the allegations in a statement seen by AltFi.

“There has never been an HR case, complaint or formal allegation filed against me at Tradeshift,” Lanng said. 

"Multiple co-founders are leaving Tradeshift after being in active discussion about our exit post HSBC deal when the board moved to dismiss me. I have given the current management and new board every opportunity to move on peacefully.”

One of Lanng’s co-founders Mikkel Hippe Brun said in a LinkedIn post that he will be joining his wife Pernille Brun at her startup Session.

“I can categorically refute any of these allegations and stand by my tenure and leadership over the last years,” Lanng added.

Lanng thanked his former employees for their support and said it pains him that the energy of a company he has loved and fought for at every turn is being sapped by such efforts”.

This article was updated on 13 October to include a statement from Christian Lanng seen by AltFi.

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