Zainali Jaffer, the co-founder and CEO of ad tech platform Vungle, has been placed on indefinite leave after being arrested for a litany of crimes. According to inmate information from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, Jaffer is being held on charges of child abuse, lewd act upon a child, “oral copulation of a person under 14,” assault with a deadly weapon, battering an officer and emergency personnel, and attempted murder.
Yesterday, Venturebeat reported that Jaffer had been placed on an indefinite leave, due to what was initially described as a “leadership shuffle.” Vungle is considered one of the success stories to come out of startup incubator AngelPad, along with Postmates.
Vungle is likely unfamiliar to most people, as it occupies the space in the technology sector that serves companies rather than directly providing a product to consumers. In Vungle’s case, that service was in-app ads, and the list of its clients includes Warner Brothers, Electronic Arts, Sony, Nickelodeon, Sega, Zygna, and Unilever. Jaffer told Techcrunch in February his company was on track to hit a $300 million revenue run rate.
Jaffer is expected to appear in court on November 1st.
Update 7:25pm: Asked for comment, Vungle sent Gizmodo the following statement:
We are aware of the extremely serious allegations leveled against our former CEO, and we are shocked beyond words. While these are only preliminary charges and are completely unrelated to his former role at the company, they are obviously so serious that it led to his immediate removal.
Everyone at the company is shocked and saddened by these events, and our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected.
Update July 3, 2018: Jaffer’s charges were dismissed yesterday “at the request of San Mateo D.A. Steve Wagstaffe,” Axios reports.