Mary Meeker — the veteran Kleiner Perkins partner who shot to fame as a tech stock analyst during the 1990s dot-com boom — is leaving the venture capital firm as it spins off its late-stage investing unit into a separate entity, the firm said on Friday.
Three other Kleiner executives are exiting for Meeker’s new fund: investors Mood Rowghani and Noah Knauf and team-building expert Juliet de Baubigny. Until they depart, Meeker and her team will continue to invest in Kleiner’s KPCB Digital Growth Fund III, which manages $1 billion, the New York Timesreported.
“The environment for venture has evolved — with larger checks being written for seed and A rounds and more support from partners required to build companies — demanding a high degree of specialization and extreme focus to excel,” the firm said in a statement to Institutional Investor. “The changes in both areas have led to less overlap between venture and growth and creating two separate firms with different people and operations now makes sense.”
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Meeker, Rowghani, and Knauf served as investment partners on Kleiner’s digital growth team, which made late-stage investments in companies including Uber.
De Baubigny is to run human resources and team building functions at the new operation, according to an Axios report. The firm’s early-stage team will continue under the Kleiner Perkins brand, and the split follows a month of internal discussions, the report said.
Meeker earned the nickname “The Queen of the Internet” for her work as an analyst at Morgan Stanley during the late 1990s dot-com heyday, landing on Institutional Investor'sAll-America Research Team for her coverage of the sector. She continues to publish a widely read “Internet Trends” report annually.