It’s been nearly a week since David Petraeus resigned as head of the Central Intelligence Agency. Since then, the four-star general, who served the country for more than 37 years, has effectively been declared persona non grata for having an affair with his biographer. That’s not just shoddy; it’s knuckle-headed.
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When we heard Larry Summers was jumping into the VC game, we just assumed Kleiner Perkins was adding another celebrity to its roster. But it turned out that newbie venture firm Andreessen Horowitz brought on the former U.S. Treasury Secretary as a “part-time special advisor.”
We’re still trying to figure out what a part-time special advisor does, but the more pressing question we have is whether big shots like Summers do anything for a venture firm other than get it mentioned in the press.
Before we start calling these firms to ask our annoying questions, we’d like to know what you, dear reader, have to say.
For example, do you think that U2 lead singer Bono has added value to Elevation Partners, the technology-focused PE firm he co-founded in 2005? It’s not clear to us what Elevation has gotten out of the relationship – besides the fact that Elevation co-founder Roger McNamee’s band, Moonalice, got to open for U2 in Oakland, Calif., earlier this month.
We’re also curious about how Kleiner Perkins has benefitted from its alliances with
Eric Feng is stepping down as founding CTO of Hulu, in order to become a partner with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He will focus on greentech opportunities, and also will serve as a “technical advisor” to Al Gore.
Can John Doerr — Al Gore’s business partner over at Kleiner Perkins — really write a credible review of Gore’s latest book?
Doerr has weighed in at VentureBeat and on Amazon.com on “Our Choice: A Plan To Solve The Climate Crisis,” which was released today and which Doerr calls “the perfect and powerful sequel to ‘An Inconvenient Truth’.”
“When mankind confronts and conquers the climate crisis, it will be because one man made Our Choice clear,” Doerr writes.
No offense to these two guys, but what else would you expect Doerr to say?
Lots of blog buzz today about a NY Times story on Al Gore’s cleantech investments, and if such activity is ethically compatible with his lobbying for environmental legislation that could benefit his portfolio. Not surprisingly, critics see irreconcilable conflict.
The Drudge Report, for example, has a breathless header about “Gore’s big profits from global warming.” Other outlets have used the term “profiteer,” and even the NYT regurgitates the meme that Gore wants to become the world’s first “carbon billionaire” (without noting it was first coined by virulent climate change skeptic Sen. James Inhofe).
The NYT also rehashed Rep. Marsha Blackburn asking Gore about conflict of interest during a House hearing earlier this year, but without her daft question of whether or not Gore was “aware of… capital firm Kleiner Perkins.” For the record, Gore has been a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins for more than two years, and listed as such on the Kleiner Perkins website.
Former VP Al Gore is accustomed to vigorous heckling from the conservative right, but even he might be surprised by the attention that has focused on him since he was questioned before Congress last month about his motivation to support cap-and-trade legislation.
As many readers will already know, Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn’s widely watched request for “some clarity” owed to Gore’s role as a partner at the “capital firm” Kleiner Perkins, one of the most active green tech investors in the country. The position could translate into some big paydays for Gore, she noted.
Gore responded by telling Blackburn that not only has he been working to raise awareness about global warming for 30 years but that “every penny” he has made from his renewable energy investments, as well as from his book and movie, both titled “An Inconvenient Truth,” have