Old Sequoia Tree
Michael Moritz, the renowned investor known for his role in backing tech giants like Google, Yahoo, YouTube, and PayPal, is leaving Sequoia Capital after a nearly four-decade tenure. The departure of this prominent figure in start-up dealmaking marks a significant shake-up for the US venture capital group, coming on the heels of its recent decision to separate its China and India units. Beginning Wednesday, Moritz will shift his focus to Sequoia Heritage, a $15 billion wealth-management fund that he helped establish in 2010. In a letter to investors, Roelof Botha, Sequoia Capital’s managing partner, expressed deep gratitude for Moritz’s invaluable contributions, acknowledging his instrumental role in positioning Sequoia as a leading technology investment group globally. Botha further explained that Moritz plans to transition smoothly from his board seats at the firm’s investments over time.
However, this transition comes at a critical juncture for Sequoia Capital, with some industry insiders expressing concerns about a potential leadership gap. One venture capitalist who has worked alongside Moritz and Sequoia noted the timing as unfavourable, citing ongoing changes within the firm, such as the split with its China unit and the departure of Neil Shen, the former head of Sequoia China. While Moritz relinquished day-to-day management of Sequoia over a decade ago, his ongoing support and counsel have been instrumental to the partnership, as highlighted in Botha’s letter to limited partners. Transitioning to Sequoia Heritage will mark a change of pace for Moritz, shifting his focus from the world of Silicon Valley start-ups that Sequoia Capital has traditionally backed, such as Nvidia and WhatsApp.
What do you think about the situation with Sequoia, and what’s next for the firm?
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I am not a financial advisor and my comments should never be taken as financial advice. Investments come with risk, so always do your research and analysis beforehand.