Al Gore joins famed Silicon Valley venture capital firm
SAN FRANCISCO |
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - In a career marked by second acts, Al Gore, the former vice president of the United States and co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is becoming a partner at Silicon Valley's most storied venture capital firm.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers said on Monday that Gore, a campaigner for action to slow global climate change, will join the Menlo Park, California-based venture capital firm as a partner focused on alternative energy investments.
The venture firm, which since 1972 has backed seminal computer start-ups ranging from Sun Microsystems to Compaq Computer to Amazon.com to Google Inc, has emerged in recent years as a leading funder of alternative energy companies.
Gore, 59, is joining the Kleiner board as part of a collaboration between his Generation Investment Management fund and Kleiner Perkins to fund so-called "green" business, technology and policies that address global climate change.
Other active or affiliated partners at Kleiner Perkins include legendary computer company backer John Doerr, alternative energy financier Vinod Khosla and former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell.
Kleiner Perkins plans to co-locate their European operations at Generation's offices in London. In addition, Doerr, Silicon Valley's best-known venture capitalist and long a major backer of Gore's political and policy efforts, will join Generation's advisory board, the two organizations said.
Kleiner has historically focused on making investments in and around Silicon Valley. However, it recently expanded operations in China. And as it moves into energy investments, it has taken on a more global profile in its operations.
Generation and Kleiner will remain focused on separate activities, with Kleiner Perkins investing in start-ups and Generation continuing its previous focus on investing in publicly traded companies focused on alternative energy or agriculture.
Gore said that as part of the agreement between the two firms, 100 percent of his salary as a partner at Kleiner Perkins will be donated directly to the Alliance for Climate Protection -- the nonpartisan foundation he chairs.
As a member of the U.S. Congress for 25 years, Gore popularized the term "information superhighway" and was instrumental in providing funds for what later became the Internet. In the 1990s, his critics pilloried him for implying that he deserved credit as "the father of the Internet."
Since leaving government, Gore has played an active role in advising top Silicon Valley companies. He sits on the board of computer and phone maker Apple Inc and is a senior adviser to Internet services leader Google Inc.
(Editing by Adam Tanner and Maureen Bavdek)
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