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At Rothenberg Ventures, the rise and fall of a virtual Gatsby

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George Patterson
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Rothenberg Ventures, the four-year-old, San Francisco-based seed-stage venture firm, may be on the brink of implosion, say several sources close to the firm.

We reported yesterday that several high-level employees had parted ways with Rothenberg, including its director of finance and the head of its SF office, who happen to be father and son Tom and Tommy Leep .

Other top executives who ve left include the company s chief revenue officer, who quit yesterday; the company s chief financial officer, who left in June; general manager James Taylor, who left very recently; and Fran Hauser, a former president of digital at Time Inc. Hauser was brought in with some fanfare as a venture partner in May 2014.

Yesterday she updated her LinkedIn profile to reflect that she left Rothenberg in July.

According to one source, Rothenberg Ventures founder Mike Rothenberg has told those remaining that very few people will be left.

Either way, a much thornier issue for Rothenberg Ventures, say numerous former employees, is founder Rothenberg himself, who has sometimes seemed to live more like a billionaire than the manager of a modest venture fund — spending lavishly to attract moneyed individuals as investors and, over time, growing increasingly focused on becoming as famous as some of them.

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George Patterson
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