Greylock COO steps down over ‘significant lapse of judgment’

Another Silicon Valley venture capitalist is out of a job over allegations that he engaged in inappropriate behavior.

Tom Frangione, chief operating officer of Menlo Park-based VC firm Greylock Partners, has resigned after engaging in behavior that a firm spokeswoman said “would represent a significant lapse of judgment that is inconsistent with our values. ”

The move follows a slew of recent departures by investors over allegations of sexual harassment and other misbehavior. Binary Capital co-founder Justin Caldbeck resigned in June after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment — some of whom were founders who had approached him for funding and/or business advice. 500 Startups founder and CEO Dave McClure stepped down shortly after, publicly apologizing for being “a creep” and coming on to multiple women in work-related settings. And last month Ignition Partners Frank Artale, based in Seattle, resigned over complaints of inappropriate conduct.

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What was Frangione’s misstep? He engaged in a consensual relationship with another Greylock employee, and failed to disclose it to the firm, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Greylock says it investigated the claim of misconduct and asked for Frangione’s investigation within three days of hearing of the situation. He complied last month, and the move was first made public on Wednesday by The Information.

“We care deeply about our team and about having a positive work environment,” a Greylock spokeswoman wrote in an emailed statement, adding that the firm already has put steps in place to prevent future bad behavior.

The firm brought on a human resources lead, established a third-party point of contact for Greylock employees, is conducting training for its whole team and is formalizing its code of conduct.

In June, as outrage was mounting over sexual harassment scandals reported in the VC industry, Greylock partner and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman shared a “Decency Pledge” on social media, encouraging other investors to commit to treating women fairly. The pledge garnered support from many investors in the industry.

“The decency pledge did what it was designed to do. It made people feel safe coming forward with information about unacceptable behavior,” the Greylock spokeswoman wrote. “We are grateful to the team members who came forward because it allowed us to act on the matter swiftly.”

Photo: A screen shot of Tom Frangione’s LinkedIn profile. Frangione resigned from his role as COO of Greylock Partners last month. 


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