Why we celebrate good leavers and embrace the change

by Simon Murdoch

Our Marketing Manager Jess Greenhalgh left us recently and it was quite an emotional end to three years working with us. We really like Jess as a person and are proud of how she has developed working at Episode 1. We understand why it is right for her to move on and we celebrated the move rather than resisted it.

Earlier in my career, I tended to take it as a personal sleight if someone left the company I was running. I had an emotional reaction to leavers and once I knew they were going, I wanted them gone as soon as possible.

Nowadays I think I’m much better at seeing the situation from the other person’s perspective.

From Jess’s point of view, she grew greatly in the three years she was here. She came in as maternity cover for an Executive Assistant with no marketing qualifications or experience. She left as a CIM qualified marketing manager with proven results and with a great reputation in the UK VC industry having helped to set up and run a BVCA marketing group. She is therefore an attractive asset for a larger PE company to hire and grow further.

So once we knew she was thinking of leaving, I discussed Jess with my partners we knew even if we matched the offer she had elsewhere, we couldn’t provide the same opportunity to grow. We saw things from her perspective and we agreed with her decision. So we let her go with pride and we wish her all the best in her new job. She repaid us in spades by doing a great job of handover during her notice period.

She will be missed including for her personality and sense of humour, and we wish her all the best for the future.

The same was true too for two other relatively recent Episode 1 good leavers. Martin Afshari-Mehr left us late last year for Salesforce Ventures. He started with Episode 1 as an intern and grew into a well rounded investment professional who knew and influenced every aspect of our business. Salesforce and their Series B co-investment model is a great fit for Martin and we know he’ll do well there. He’s already been really helpful to us in several ways since he left and we definitely want to introduce deals and other contacts to him whenever we can too.

Ash Puri left us in 2016 for Tempo Capital. An incredible networker, Ash is one of those people who lights up a room just by being there. He still holds the record as the individual who brought the most amount of dealflow into Episode 1 in a year, and so if there’s a deal out there which fits Tempo’s secondary model Ash will find it.

I now never resent people leaving the firm. The best place to end up is that they are friends working in other companies now, and I’m pleased that Jess, Martin and Ash are now friends for life.

Also published on Medium.

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