Summers Joins Andreessen Horowitz as Adviser to Venture Firm

Summers to Join Venture Firm
Larry Summers, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, speaks during a session on the second day of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2011 in Davos, Switzerland. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers is joining venture firm Andreessen Horowitz as a special adviser, to help entrepreneurs who are aiming to build their international operations.

Summers, a professor at Harvard University, will be working on a part-time basis with Andreessen Horowitz, the Menlo Park, California-based firm said yesterday in a statement. Financial terms of the arrangement weren’t disclosed.

Andreessen Horowitz was founded in 2009 by former Netscape Communications Corp. executives Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz. The firm has since raised $1.2 billion from investors and bought stakes in companies including Groupon Inc., Facebook Inc., Foursquare Labs Inc. and Zynga Inc. Summers’s experience in global economics and politics will help portfolio companies navigate through other countries, the firm said.

“All of our companies want to operate globally and expand into global markets,” Andreessen said in an interview. “He will be hands-on with a bunch of these companies through their evolution in these markets.”

Summers, 56, will be staying at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and will periodically visit Andreessen Horowitz’s office. Over time, he will probably become a board member at some portfolio companies, Andreessen said.

Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News, is an investor in Andreessen Horowitz.

Obama Adviser

Summers worked for the Treasury Department from 1993 to 2001, including a two-year stint as secretary. He served as head of the National Economic Council under President Barack Obama through 2010. He was president of Harvard from 2001 to 2006 and returned there as a professor this year.

While venture capital is a new endeavor for Summers, he previously worked in the hedge fund industry for D.E. Shaw & Co. Summers served as a managing director at the New York-based firm and was paid more than $5 million in salary and other compensation over a 16-month period, according to a financial disclosure form released by the White House in 2009.

During that period, the middle of the financial crisis, D.E. Shaw’s assets declined, falling by almost half between 2008 and 2010.

Separately, Andreessen Horowitz said today that Jeffrey Jordan, former chief executive officer of OpenTable Inc., is joining as its fifth general partner. Jordan’s first investment is in location-based social application provider LikeALittle, Andreessen wrote in a blog posting today. Jordan is still OpenTable’s executive chairman.

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