Although he was brought in this past January to replace David Tisch as the New York program’s Managing Director, it seems it just didn’t work out for Eugene Chung at TechStars. Nicole Glaros, who was interim Managing Director before Chung came on board, is now stepping into the role once again. Glaros was Managing Director of TechStars’ flagship program in Boulder, Colorado prior to moving to New York.
Chung, who was chosen from a field of 35 applicants, had already been mentoring TechStars companies before accepting the role.
Despite that, “David Cohen, founder of TechStars, confirmed the news via email stating that Chung wasn’t ‘a good fit.’ He added that TechStars is built for these kind of swift changes, according to BusinessInsider. ‘We have full redundancy built into the model and Nicole Glaros has been here all along,’ Cohen says.”
Valleywag posted a portion of the email announcing Chung’s departure:
I have an important announcement + a general update from TechStars.When TechStars hires new Managing Directors (MD), we make sure there is redundancy in the system, deploying an experienced MD to work alongside a new one. As this is my 6th TechStars program, I’ve had the opportunity to work alongside Eugene Chung in his first program. This NYC 2013 program shares some common traits with the others; the teams are passionate, driven, executing, and making progress in a short period of time. However as we’ve come into the home stretch, it has been determined that Eugene is not a good fit for TechStars and as a result, he is no longer employed by TechStars. We wish him the best of luck in his next endeavor.
While I’m not able to discuss the details of this separation, I assure you that his departure is having minimal to no impact on the program as we build toward demo day. I’ve been working closely with the teams since day 1, I’ll continue to do so through the end.
In spite of that distraction, the teams have really congealed as a class and are racing towards demo day. Many have revenue or early interest from customers, and they continue to execute on their products. We’re intently focused on fundraising strategies now, and the teams are working on their pitches (they still have a ways to go!), and are circling up with investors that they’ve met during the program.
But people – especially New Yorkers – do talk, and did, although not on the record, about Chung’s management style, which didn’t appear to sit well with either TechStars management or some of the companies in the current session.
Chung could not be reached for comment, but in an industry where sudden pivots are almost de rigueur, next.