UPDATE 1-Kleiner Perkins closes ranks on early-stage investing
SAN FRANCISCO Oct 11 (Reuters) - Venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers is reorganizing its partner ranks so that just five managing directors will lead its early-stage investments, according to a memo to its investors obtained by Reuters.
The five partners are John Doerr, Ted Schlein, Randy Komisar, Beth Seidenberg and Mike Abbott, the memo said. Abbott is the newest of the group, having joined Kleiner two years ago from Twitter, where he was vice president of engineering. The news was first reported by Fortune.
"The recruiting wars for talent and accelerating pace of innovation put a premium on having exceptional investing and company building expertise," the firm said in the memo, which was sent to investors Wednesday.
The move leaves out existing partners such as Bing Gordon, the former Electronic Arts executive who led the firm's investment in game company Zynga ; Chi-Hua Chien, responsible for much of the firm's consumer-technology investments; Matt Murphy, who manages the firm's mobile-oriented iFund; and cleantech-oriented partner Amol Deshpande.
Those partners could be taking on more responsibilities, for example in growth equity, two people familiar with the matter said.
The changes do not affect Kleiner's $1 billion Digital Growth Fund, which is run by Mary Meeker, the former Morgan Stanley research analyst. Digital Growth oversees investments such as Twitter, payments service Square, and loans-service LendingClub.
The changes also do not affect the $500 million Green Growth Fund, which is led by Ben Kortlang and Michael Linse.
A Kleiner spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
In its memo, Kleiner also said that John Denniston, a partner of 12 years, would be leaving the firm.
Kleiner, while still a highly regarded venture firm, does not enjoy quite the same reputation it held a decade ago when it was riding high on the back of investments such as Amazon and Google.
Last year, it closed its 15th fund, at $525 million, down from $650 million for its 14th fund.
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