Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a powerful venture-capital firm in Silicon Valley, is hiring Meg Whitman as a strategic adviser. John Doerr, Kleiner Perkins’s most notable partner, was a near-oracular investor in the dot-com bubble, seeing early promise in Google and Amazon. But after getting sidetracked in clean tech investments (non-corn ethanol plants — they’re gonna be huge), Kleiner showed up late to the current tech boom. He’s made up for lost time in the past couple years by helping launch funds for budding start-ups in iPhone apps and social media. But the jewels in KPCB’s new tech crown are mid-stage, hot properties like Twitter, Groupon, and Zynga, which came at a premium once Doerr decided to get back into the industry. Now, those companies are eyeing an IPO.
Enter Meg Whitman. She may have made some mistakes during her tenure as head of eBay. But she successfully took eBay public in 1998, shepherding the company from a $2 billion valuation the first day it went public to $8 billion a month later. As KPCB portfolio companies like Groupon, Twitter, and Zynga approach their own IPOs, Whitman’s strategic advice could prove valuable. A little political clout from the woman who spent $145 million of her own money to be governor doesn’t hurt either. It’s the same reason Facebook just went after Obama’s former press secretary Robert Gibbs. True, Whitman may have lost her election, but that didn’t stop KPCB from hiring Al Gore back when Sand Hill Road was all about being green.
Meg Whitman rumored to join Kleiner Perkins. Wait, what? [VentureBeat]
Meg Whitman to Join Kleiner Perkins [Fortune]