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Roster changes at Battery Ventures in Waltham and Menlo Park

Posted by Scott Kirsner  June 21, 2011 07:21 AM

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I've been hearing rumblings from several sources in the venture capital industry about some 2011 personnel changes at Battery Ventures, most notably Morgan Jones, a general partner who'd been part of the Waltham firm's management committee. Jones led Battery's investments in industrial tech, so his departure could mean less of a focus on that space. Among Jones' investments were Achronix Semiconductor, Nova Analytics (acquired by ITT), and Quantum Leap Packaging, sold for an undisclosed sum in 2009 to a Rhode Island company.

Also leaving Battery are Matt Niehaus, a partner in Menlo Park who focuses on communication services and infrastructure technologies, and a senior associate in the Waltham office whose name I haven't yet learned. Niehaus had put a big chunk of Battery's cash into mobile operator Pocket Communications, an investment which didn't pan out.

In March, Satya Patel left his full-time job at Battery's Menlo Park office to join Twitter as its director of product management. (Patel is now a "venture partner" at Battery.) And in February, Ramneek Gupta left Battery's west coast office, where he'd been a partner focusing on digital media and financial services, to join Citi Ventures.

I had been hoping that Tom Crotty, the top dog at Battery, might shed some light on the significance of all this: is the firm deliberately trimming its partner ranks... changing its sector focus... looking to do different types of deals?

Crotty sent me an e-mail confirming that one general partner and one senior associate in Waltham "will be transitioning out of Battery over the next months," along with one partner in Menlo Park. But "that is all we'll be able to comment on," he wrote.

Battery raised a new $750 million fund last year.

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Scott Kirsner was part of the team that launched Boston.com in 1995, and has been writing a column for the Globe since 2000. His work has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, The New York Times, BusinessWeek, Newsweek, and Variety. Scott is also the author of the books "Fans, Friends & Followers" and "Inventing the Movies," was the editor of "The Convergence Guide: Life Sciences in New England," and was a contributor to "The Good City: Writers Explore 21st Century Boston." Scott also helps organize several local events on entrepreneurship, including the Nantucket Conference and Future Forward. Here's some background on how Scott decides what to cover, and how to pitch him a story idea.

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