Menlo Hires Ganesan as Partner as Pishevar Steps Back

Menlo Ventures said Wednesday it brought on an additional partner as it prepares for a new round of fundraising in the next couple years.

The news of the hire comes a week after Menlo Managing Director Shervin Pishevar stepped into a less active role at the firm. Menlo officials said the two events are unrelated.

New Managing Director Venky Ganesan comes from Globespan Capital Partners, where as a managing director he was responsible for investments including Palo Alto Networks, Plaxo, Jajah and oDesk. He will focus on consumer and enterprise investments at Menlo.

The firm’s goal is to build a “deep bench” of talent as it tackles generational issues in the coming fund, said Managing Director Shawn Carolan. Menlo began looking for an additional partner about 18 months ago and the decision is “completely uncoupled” with Pishevar’s move to venture advisor, Carolan said.

Menlo declined to offer additional detail on its generational transitions. At least three partners have been with the firm for more than 25 years. Managing Director H. DuBose Montgomery has been active with the firm since co-founding it in 1976, while Managing Directors Douglas Carlisle and John Jarve have been with Menlo for 31 years and 28 years, respectively.

Last week, the firm announced that Pishevar will step out of an investment role to devote more time to the startup foundry and fund he hopes to begin, called The Foundry and Sherpa. He will continue to source deals for Menlo and advise portfolio companies.

But he will not take board seats, and the board seats he already has will be transferred to other partners, the firm said. Pishevar has seats on the boards of Cinemagram, Getaround, Machine Zone and elsewhere, and has been a board observer at Uber.

Pishevar did not respond to an e-mail seeking comment.

Menlo insiders said Pishevar has had the idea for a startup foundry for some time and is developing it with Goldman Sachs banker Scott Stanford. The concept is to create companies that can go on to seek seed or Series A funding.

Pishevar would bring to the project his strength in Silicon Valley networking. “He loves to be out talking to people,” says Carolan.

Photo courtesy of ShutterStock 

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