Maria Zhang, Yahoo’s senior director of engineering, faces charges for sexually harassing a female colleague. In the lawsuit, Zhang is accused of pressurizing Nan Shi, a principle software engineer at Yahoo, for sex on numerous occasions.
According to the lawsuit, Zhang promised Shi a successful career in the company if she accepted her sexual advances. On Shi’s refusal, Zhang allegedly gave her a negative performance review and discharged her from her position as a project leader.
Shi claimed that she reported the matter to the company’s senior executive, and was instead placed on unpaid leave before eventual dismissal.
A Yahoo representative told Mercury News that the allegations against Zhang are baseless.
“Maria is an excellent Yahoo executive and we plan to fight strongly to clear her name,” the Yahoo representative said.
Zhang is in charge of developer-tool and content teams for various mobile properties of the company, including News Digest and Yahoo Sports. She plays a central role in the company’s mobile efforts, which is a vital position in Yahoo’s plan to improve the lurching internet portal.
The lawsuit names Yahoo as the defendant and mentions three causes of damage, including sexual harassment, wrongful termination and deliberate infliction of emotional stress.