John Doerr moves to chairman role, makes way for next generation of Kleiner Perkins leaders

John Doerr, a longtime leader of one of Silicon Valley’s most prestigious venture capital firms, announced Thursday he’s taking a step back from some of his managerial duties.

Doerr, 64, is leaving his position as a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and moving to a chairman role, he wrote in a blog post.

“I will remain deeply involved in the daily life of KPCB,” Doerr wrote, “continuing to invest on behalf of our funds and my family foundation, and serving on our investment committees.”

In an interview with Bloomberg, Doerr said the move is part of a larger transition to the next generation of investors. But he intends to stick around. He told Bloomberg he plans to work with the Kleiner Perkins team until he’s “voted off the island.”

Doerr joined Kleiner Perkins in 1980, and has backed legendary entrepreneurs including Larry Page, and Sergey Brin of Google; Jeff Bezos of Amazon; and Scott Cook and Bill Campbell of Intuit.

Kleiner Perkins made national headlines last year during a trial over gender discrimination claims brought against the firm by former junior partner Ellen Pao. A jury sided with Kleiner Perkins last March.

Doerr says Campbell, who he refers to as “Coach,” convinced him to become chair of Kleiner Perkins.

“The more I thought about Bill’s advice, the better it sounded,” Doerr wrote. “With two daughters off to college I have more time, freedom and capacity for investing, learning and coaching. Far from slowing down, I expect to speed up.”

He added that he sees his new role as that of a “player coach,” and that he’s “super enthused” about the next generation of Kleiner Perkins leaders.

Photo: John Doerr (Kleiner Perkins).



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