May 29, 2022

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Silver Lake-backed startup ousts chairman over antisemitic email

David Bateman, one of the founders of Utah tech startup Entrata Inc., resigned from the board after sending an antisemitic email espousing Covid-19 vaccine conspiracy theories.

The email, reviewed by Bloomberg, claimed that vaccines represented a plot to “euthanize the American people” and that “the Jews are behind this.” The email went on to say “for 300 years the Jews have been trying to infiltrate the Catholic Church” in a bid for “totalitarian rule.” The message was sent to several prominent figures in Utah’s political and tech scene, including the governor. The existence of the letter was first reported Tuesday by a local outlet.

“The opinions expressed by Dave were his alone, and do not reflect the views or values of Entrata,” the startup’s Chief Executive Officer Adam Edmunds said in a statement on Twitter. In an email, the company said that Entrata’s board of directors asked Bateman to immediately resign from Entrata’s board and from his position as chairman.

In July, Entrata, a property management–software company, said it raised $507 million in a funding round led by high-profile firm Silver Lake, as well as Qualtrics co-founder Ryan Smith and Vivint co-founder Todd Pedersen. Dragoneer Investment Group and Domo Inc. CEO Josh James also participated in the financing.

In a statement, a spokeswoman for Silver Lake said Bateman’s email “does not reflect our views in any way and we resoundingly condemn antisemitism and hate in all its forms.” Bateman did not respond to requests for comment.

“This behavior and sentiment is despicable and does not reflect the attitudes of the Utah tech industry,” said Elizabeth Converse, executive director of industry group Utah Tech Leads. “Additionally, to spread such blatant disinformation in our state when omicron is on the rise makes this kind of language doubly dangerous.” Theresa Foxley, head of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah, also condemned the comments in an email: “There’s no room in our community for that type of vile hatred.”

Bateman has made headlines in the past. Silicon Slopes, a Utah based tech organization, apologized after he asked the women in attendance to stand up to cheer sports star Alex Rodriguez at a conference, calling the episode “embarrassing” in a statement. In 2020, Bateman was sued by the founder of Nikola Corp. for alleged defamation, and he has absorbed some debt accrued by the Utah Republican Party, the Salt Lake Tribute reported.

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