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January 18, 2005
Joy at K-P
Silicon Valley VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has a new partner: Bill Joy, co-founder and former chief scientist at Sun Microsystems. It's an interesting choice, given the current state of VC and the current state of K-P. The storied venture firm, which provided startup funds for Sun and lots of other household-name tech companies, bid farewell to one partner in 2003 and let four others go part-time last year. Those partners had been leading cast members in the great Internet build-out. With that era over and K-P investing a new fund that is smaller than its predecessor, a personnel adjustment seemed fitting. It's also fitting that the firm would add a visionary scientist like Joy at a time when the VC industry needs to discover the next breakthroughs that will spawn a new era of investment. K-P has a history of hiring partners with many years of "operational" background (that's VC-speak for experience working at tech companies). The last partner it added was Ray Lane, former COO at software maker Oracle. Even for experienced executives, the venture business takes some learning, and not every former operator learns to love it. We expect Joy will make some unexpected investments during his tenure. Read our full story here.
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