When FTX collapsed last year and workers left the company in droves, one of the last to go was an employee you might not expect, George Lerner, FTX’s in-house coach.
Doctor. Lerner earned his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine in Houston and completed his residency at the top-ranked psychiatry program at the University of California, San Francisco. wall street journal,
He was hired by the now-defunct FTX because he treated many of the company’s early employees, including disgraced CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, who joined his former private practice in San Francisco, where his clients included tech, Crypto and venture capital executives were also involved. journalDuring his time at L Company, Dr. Lerner said he saw about a third of the company’s 300 employees.
Although Dr. Lerner was a trained psychiatrist, he told journal that FTX hired him as a coach.
His coaching mostly concerned topics important to a ragtag team of 20 and 30 something, many of whom were working long hours in a high-stress work culture. In addition to helping with the stress of the job, the doc apparently also has a hand in the dating lives of the FTX and Alameda employees.
He tried organizing a social get-together with other companies based in the Bahamas, but found that people were too busy. He also encouraged workers to focus on their lives outside of work.
“I was very concerned that the lack of dating opportunities outside of a big city would reduce people’s happiness or they would feel compelled to leave the company because of it,” he said.
But the dating scene for FTX employees looked a little different than it did for employees at other multi-billion-dollar companies. Several of the company’s executives lived communally in a $40 million luxury penthouse in a gated community.
Far from home and isolated in a high-end Bahamas apartment complex, FTX and Alameda employees relied on each other for social distancing. According to CoinDesk, many of the people at the top, including Sam Bankman-Fried, have dated Caroline Ellison, the CEO of Alameda Research, for some time.
The relationship may not have worked out as envisioned for Bankman-Fried, who has pleaded not guilty to fraud charges for her role in the collapse of FTX.
In December, Ellison struck a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to the criminal charges against him. She is reportedly cooperating with prosecutors and law enforcement.
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