Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has appointed John Maeda as design partner. Maeda joins KPCB from Rhode Island School of Design where he was president since 2008.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (KPCB) today announced the appointment of John Maeda as Design Partner, reflecting the critical role that design plays in KPCB’s digital internet investments and in the product development and leadership needs of KPCB’s entrepreneurs. Maeda joins KPCB from Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) where he was president since 2008, during which time RISD saw increased applications and academic fundraising success and became a powerful symbol for creativity across sectors.
“We deeply admire John as an innovator and leader,” said John Doerr, partner, KPCB. “John and we believe that great design, like great technology, will profoundly and positively transform our world.”
Doerr added, “John is a genius, a pioneer at the intersection of design, computing, art and education. Today John is again breaking new ground as KPCB’s first Design Partner. We’re excited by the expertise and insights he will offer entrepreneurs and ventures.”
In his capacity as Design Partner, Maeda will work with KPCB’s entrepreneurs and portfolio companies to help them build design DNA into their company cultures. Maeda will lead KPCB’s Design Council, a group of preeminent designers across the industry. He will also support the firm’s efforts around the KPCB Design Fellows program, which nurtures the next-generation of design talent in technology.
“I firmly believe that art and design will transform our economy in the 21st century the way that science and technology did in the last century,” said Maeda. “Joining KPCB was an irresistible opportunity to work alongside talented investment professionals and entrepreneurs to elevate design to the forefront of leadership and innovation.”
KPCB Partner Mike Abbott said, “Design is an integral part of product development. John will play an important role nurturing the interconnection of design and engineering that today’s entrepreneurs seek to harness, and which is so vital to the building of great products and companies.”
It was also announced today that Maeda will serve as Chair of eBay Inc.’s Design Advisory Board. Maeda also serves on the boards of wireless HiFi company Sonos, global advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy and design crowdsourcing start-up and KPCB portfolio company Quirky. In addition he is a member of the Davos World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership and serves as a trustee of the Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, a member of the TED Brain Trust and of Motorola Mobility’s Advanced Technology And Products (ATAP) Technical Advisory Board.
Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has backed entrepreneurs in more than 700 ventures leading to nearly 200 IPOs, over 375,000 jobs and a deep strategic network. The firm has partnered with pioneering companies like Amazon, Electronic Arts, Genentech, Google, Intuit, Juniper Networks, Netscape, Symantec, Twitter, VeriSign and WebMD. KPCB partners serve on the boards of Amazon, Apple, Bloom Energy, Flipboard, Foundation Medicine, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Nest, Square, and Zynga, among others. KPCB accelerates the success of entrepreneurs with a team of partners delivering company-building services including strategy, operational scaling, recruiting, business development, product delivery and marketing communications. The firm invests in all stages from seed and incubation to growth companies. KPCB operates from offices in Menlo Park, San Francisco, Shanghai and Beijing.