Meg Whitman, the former eBay CEO who got trounced in the race for California governor last November, has a new career plan: Venture capital with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
By Patricia Sellers
Meg Whitman, who is in Hawaii until Wednesday with her neurosurgeon husband Griff Harsh, declined to comment, but sources close to her and to the venerable Silicon Valley venture capital firm say that Kleiner will bring Whitman in as a strategic adviser to help scope investments and coach startups.
Given Kleiner's latest leanings toward mid- and late-stage bets on hot consumer businesses -- Twitter, Groupon, and Spotify, to name three -- getting Whitman's help makes some sense. Her pedigree includes not only a decade building eBay (EBAY), where she left the CEO post in 2008 after a series of missteps, but also previous stints at Walt Disney (DIS) and Procter & Gamble (PG) -- whose board she rejoined after losing the contest for governor.
Moreover, Whitman, 54, is friendly with such Kleiner partners as Juliet de Baubigny. And this past winter, Whitman went on vacation to New Zealand with another partner of the firm: Mary Meeker, who is a fellow transplant to the VC world. Meeker quit Morgan Stanley (MS), where she had built a reputation as Wall Street's most influential Internet-stock analyst, to go to join Kleiner last November. And she's made her mark quickly by applying her analytics and wielding her clout on those mid- to late-stage startups.
Whitman's role at Kleiner will be part-time, as she pursues board duties (she recently joined the board of Hewlett Packard (HPQ) too) and other callings in her post-campaign life. By joining the same VC firm that lured Al Gore and Colin Powell in their respective political twilights, she's making a pretty safe move image-wise.
Of course, a gig at Kleiner Perkins, the firm that bet early on such startups as Google (GOOG) and Amazon.com (AMZN), could pay off in real dollars as well. That may be no small deal to the political neophyte who spent $145 million of her own money and got nothing to show for it.
One good sign for her new calling at Kleiner: A source close to Whitman says that by investing wisely in a rising stock market since last November, she has earned back that $145 million she lost.
Also on Fortune.com:
by Patricia Sellers
Many people are asking: Will Internet analyst Mary Meeker be savvy enough at spotting brand-new businesses to succeed as a venture capitalist in Silicon Valley?
Quitting Morgan Stanley (MS), where she's worked for 19 years, to become a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is a major career switch. "Will I be good at this?" is one of several questions she asked herself, Meeker, 51, told me yesterday.
The MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 30, 2010 1:52 PM ET
by Patricia Sellers
When Internet analyst Mary Meeker announced at Morgan Stanley's Monday morning meeting today that she's leaving to become a venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, most people were surprised.
But to those who know Meeker, the so-called Queen of the 'Net since the late '90s, her move from Wall Street to Silicon Valley is a long time coming.
I mentioned this "rumor" (will Meeker leave Morgan Stanley to MOREPatricia Sellers - Nov 29, 2010 5:18 PM ET
"The mobile Internet is ramping faster than desktop Internet did, and we believe more users may connect to the Internet via mobile devices than desktop PCs within five years."
- from the mega-Morgan Stanley (MS) tech report, released this morning. The 424-page analysis declares that the mobile Internet cycle, the fifth tech cycle in 50 years, is just beginning--and winners in each cycle often create more market capitalization than in the MOREPatricia Sellers - Dec 15, 2009 6:21 PM ET
It's hard to be hopeful. Turmoil in the financial markets is spreading geographically and psychologically. The Dow closed down 508 points today. At last week's Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, we heard plenty about stress and sleep deprivation -- starting with Warren Buffett's comments on a clearly exhausted Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. Sallie Krawcheck, who is leaving her high-level post at Citigroup (C), and Barclays Capital (BCS) vice chairman Barbara Byrne MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Oct 7, 2008 7:22 PM ET
My colleague Carol Loomis interviewed Warren Buffett today here at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in North San Diego. Buffett told us that he came up with a big idea literally while walking to the session this morning. Click here to read "Buffett: My fix for the economy."
Another highlight: Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore did a great on-stage chat with PepsiCo (PEP) CEO Indra Nooyi. Silicon Valley talent maven Juliet Flint MOREPatricia Sellers - Oct 2, 2008 5:31 PM ET
"The price of inaction is much higher than the price of making a mistake."
-- Meg Whitman, who was CEO of eBay (EBAY) from 1998 until she retired this past March. Whitman said this at the 1999 Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit while speaking on a panel about the future of the Internet with Morgan Stanley (MS) tech analyst Mary Meeker and Joy Covey, then CFO of Amazon.com (AMZN). The panel MOREJessica Shambora, Writer-Reporter - Oct 1, 2008 8:26 PM ET
|Apple set for showdown on Capitol Hill over corporate taxes|
|Why I'm protesting against Gap over Bangladesh|
|The biggest merger you didn't hear about today|
|Tesla's fight with America's car dealers|
|Yahoo buys Tumblr, promises to not 'screw it up'|