Vungle CEO arrested on charges of assault with a deadly weapon, lewd act with 3-year-old son

Zain Jaffer, who has been CEO of fast-growing mobile ad startup, Vungle, is out of the company after being arrested on a slew of charges, including a lewd act upon a child and assault with a deadly weapon. The alleged victim was his three-year-old son, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Wagstaffe told us that Jaffer was initially charged with attempted murder, but that charge has been dropped because “evidence did not show an intent to kill.” However, the below charges remain and Jaffer is being held on $300,000 bail.

The list of felony charges includes assault with a deadly weapon, child abuse, lewd act upon a child and oral copulation of a person under 10. We’re told that his one-year-old daughter is also an alleged victim of the child abuse charge.

There’s also a misdemeanor charge of battery upon an officer and emergency personnel.

According to the San Mateo County inmate locator, Jaffer’s next court date is November 1. It says Jaffer is 29-years-old.

Vungle confirms that Jaffer is no longer employed by the company. The new CEO is Rick Tallman, who was previously COO and CFO of Vungle. 

A company spokesperson provided us with the following statement, attributed to the CEO.

“We are aware of the extremely serious allegations leveled against our former CEO, and we are shocked beyond words. While these charges are completely unrelated to his former role at the company, they are obviously so serious that it led to his immediate removal. We learned of the allegations late Monday night, and convened a board meeting, removed him as CEO and I was appointed permanent CEO all within 24 hours. He did not step down for personal reasons as has been erroneously reported. We removed him as rapidly as possible. The actions of one individual are in no way reflective of the almost 200 dedicated and hard-working people who work for Vungle. Everyone at the company is appalled and deeply saddened by these events.”

Vungle previously raised funding from Google Ventures (GV), 500 Startups, Crosslink Capital and others. We spoke to Vungle investors who are shocked by the news.

According to a LinkedIn profile that appears to belong to Jaffer, he was previously CEO of Mediaroots and CyberPlanet. It says he has degrees from King’s College London, London Business School, and University College London.

The startup was founded in San Francisco in 2011.