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Harvard CFO Leaving for Startup in Second Departure of Top Finance Official

Two of the top Harvard University officials involved in funding and running the Ivy League school will be gone soon, with today’s announcement that Chief Financial Officer Dan Shore is quitting to join a startup.

Shore, who has been CFO for six years, is leaving in September, a few months before Jane Mendillo, head of the university’s $32.7 billion endowment, departs. Last month, Paul Finnegan took over as treasurer from James Rothenberg, who had served in the role for 10 years.

Shore was looking to do something more entrepreneurial, according to a source with knowledge of Harvard’s leadership. University President Drew Faust has been restructuring the management since the school lost a record 27 percent on its investments in the financial crisis. She has increased the size of the board to 13 members from seven and brought in new expertise, including Finnegan, co-chief executive officer of the investment firm Madison Dearborn Partners.

Harvard, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, will soon begin a search to replace Shore, according to the statement.

Mendillo, president and chief executive officer of Harvard Management Co., is leaving for personal reasons, the university said in June. Her departure comes as the university has trailed peers in investment returns and as the endowment saw a number of other investment staff members leave.

‘Unusual Challenge’

“Through a time of unusual challenge and change in the economics of higher education, including the 2008-09 global financial crisis and its aftermath, Dan has served Harvard with extraordinary incisiveness and an unrelenting devotion to assuring the university’s long-term financial well-being,” Faust said in an e-mailed statement.

Shore is joining Onshape Inc., a venture-backed company also based in Cambridge that is applying cloud, Web and mobile technologies to computer-aided design, according to a statement.

Finnegan has been a member of the Harvard Corporation, the university’s governing body, since 2012. Rothenberg stayed on as a member and is also chairman of the board of Harvard Management Co.

To contact the reporter on this story: Michael McDonald in Boston at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Lisa Wolfson at Ben Livesey

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