Another investor leaves Greylock Partners, a 50-year-old venture capital firm, renowned for its investment in Facebook, but struggling to give in to a new generation of investors.
John Lilly has become the third-best person to leave his full-time job at Greylock over the past year. Lilly, the former CEO of Mozilla, said Thursday he would no longer be a general partner of Greylock. He is mainly fueled by politics these days and intends to devote most of his time to political initiatives.
Venture capital firms rely on close, unified partnerships to agree on startups to support. This is not a good sign to see a constant exodus of talent. Much of a company's success requires personal chemistry and long relationships. Greylock has long been regarded as one of the most renowned investment firms in the technology sector, with decades of history and commercial titans as co-founder of LinkedIn, Reid Hoffman, in his direction.
But more than other companies, Greylock had some difficulty finding the right staff to run it, sources said. Succession planning is a classic problem in Silicon Valley.
In addition to Lilly, Jeff Markowitz, Greylock's talented talented leader, announced last month that he would leave his position with the company to directly hold a position of advisor to Google's chief executive, Sundar Pichai. – a plum concert, of course. a blow to Greylock given his stature. (He will always advise the firm.) In addition to being the talented, recruitment-oriented partner of the firm, sources indicate that Markowitz has served on the Greylock Executive Committee.
Josh Elman, general partner of Hoffman's Facebook and LinkedIn company, left last year as Greylock's general partner for a position as vice president at Robinhood, the brokerage firm. It was about a year after Greylock lost another general partner, Sarah Tavel, to compete with the venture capital firm Benchmark.
The sample size is small, but it's a lot of revenue for a small partnership.
Greylock has added a general partner since the departure of Tavel in May 2017 – an internal promotion.
According to all accounts, the company is still doing well: it has a small tranche of Airbnb, worth $ 31 billion, which should bring hundreds of millions of dollars to Greylock when it is published. Aurora, Nextdoor and Discord are other titles that could bear fruit. The general partner, Asheem Chandna, is among the stars.
Greylock said it has distributed $ 2 billion to its own investors, its sponsors, since 2015.
But the losses of talent have accumulated a little now. The company's consumer practice, in particular, could appeal to new people to help Josh McFarland, whom the company hired on Twitter as a general partner at the end of 2016.
Greylock's leaders slowly tried to hand over the baton to this younger generation. Hoffman, one of Silicon Valley's greatest personalities, usually conducts one or two transactions a year, but spends most of his time on politics and becomes one of the Party's largest and most controversial contributors. Democrat at the time of Trump. David Sze, who spearheaded the company's historic investment in Facebook in 2006, has only made two new investments disclosed over the past three years and has gradually reduced its workforce.
The other head of the company, James Slavet, invests but focuses on internal operations.
Lilly, on the other hand, is a longtime friend of Hoffman and has been working at Greylock for eight years. But following the mid-term Democrats' compelling yet slightly disappointing results, Lilly said he needed to focus more on activism and announced plans for the cabinet last week.
"For those of you who know me personally (or via Twitter, I guess!), You know that I absolutely want to improve the state of our country and our world," he said. stated, "and it is clear that 2019 and 2020 are crucial years – certainly the most important moment of a generation, but perhaps much longer than that. "