Mary Meeker, the Morgan Stanley technology analyst who gained renown for predictions on Internet growth in the 1990s, is leaving the bank to join venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a partner.
Meeker, 51, will be based in California’s Silicon Valley and will travel frequently to New York and Asia, Kleiner Perkins said in a statement today. Meeker, who covered Google Inc., EBay Inc., and Yahoo! Inc., led the global technology research team at Morgan Stanley, where she worked since 1991.
Called “Queen of the Net” by Barron’s in 1998, Meeker made her name with a publication entitled “The Internet Report” in 1995 and her bullish calls on Web companies, including Amazon.com Inc. and America Online Inc. Earlier this month, Meeker predicted a $50 billion online advertising boom in an address at the annual Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco.
“We’re at the beginning of another great wave of tech innovation and I am incredibly excited by the opportunity to help the next generation of Internet technologies and leaders,” Meeker said in the statement.
Mobile commerce may gain market share faster than traditional online retailing, Meeker said at the conference earlier this month. Last year, she published “Mobile Internet Report,” a 424-page report that was the culmination of four years of research.
‘Do More Mobile’
Bing Gordon, a partner at Kleiner Perkins, said earlier this month that Meeker’s research helped persuade his firm to “do more mobile, bigger and faster.” In March, Kleiner Perkins said it will double its iFund, an investment pool backing startups that create applications for Apple Inc.’s handheld devices, to $200 million.
“Mary was an early supporter of some of the biggest technology investment winners of the past 20 years,” Kleiner Perkins partner John Doerr said in the statement. “Her advice and support are already highly sought after by entrepreneurs and in this new role, she will be able to spend even more time providing more direct assistance.”
Scott Devitt, who worked with Meeker since joining Morgan Stanley in 2009, will assume sole coverage of the U.S. Internet sector, Morgan Stanley said in an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg and confirmed by spokeswoman Sandra Hernandez.
Meeker’s star dimmed after the dot-com bust in 2000. The Nasdaq lost 78 percent of its value in less than three years. In 2001, Fortune published a story titled, “Where Mary Meeker Went Wrong.” In 2003, after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission accused Morgan Stanley and other financial services firms of skewed analysis, the companies settled for $1.4 billion. The SEC didn’t accuse Meeker of wrongdoing.
She has regained the attention of many investors with her outlook for mobile technology. Smartphone shipments will exceed those of personal computers in 2012, she has said.
Meeker, an Indiana native who graduated from DePauw University and earned an MBA from Cornell University, says she draws on personal experience, as well as data analysis and company research, to form her views.
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