J. Gary Shansby, the controversial former chairman and chief executive of Shaklee Corp., has joined Montgomery Securities, San Francisco, to head a new $50-million venture capital fund specializing in consumer products and services.
Shansby, 49, left Shaklee last December after clashing with the direct-sales vitamin company's founding family. Its patriarch, Forrest C. Shaklee Sr., was a charismatic chiropractor who preached a gospel of nutrition and capitalism to Shaklee's evangelical sales force.
Shansby injected professional management during his tenure at Shaklee but was plagued by high executive turnover and, beginning in 1983, a falloff in sales after years of steady growth. He raised Shaklee's--and his own--profile in San Francisco by contributing heavily to the arts and by spending lavishly to decorate Shaklee's headquarters tower.
At Montgomery Securities, an investment banking and venture capital partnership also known for its research unit, Shansby will be a general partner as well as the managing partner of the new consumer-oriented venture fund.