San Francisco: Bill Maris, founder and chief executive officer of Alphabet Inc.’s venture capital arm, will leave the company on Friday after building the firm GV into a Silicon Valley powerhouse, said a person familiar with the matter.
David Krane, a managing partner at the firm formerly known as Google Ventures, will succeed Maris as head of the group, said the person, who asked not to be named because the details aren’t public. Krane, a 17-year veteran of Google, will likely increase the firm’s investments in consumer products and services, the person said.
Maris created Google Ventures in 2009. While the firm is funded entirely by Alphabet, GV operates like a traditional venture capital outfit by encouraging partners to make investments with the goal of big financial returns, not finding prospective acquisitions for its parent company. GV now has 14 partners, who each receive a piece of the returns from the funds they work on. Maris’s departure was reported earlier by technology website Recode.
GV was the most active US corporate venture arm in the first half of the year, according to research firm CB Insights. Its largest investment is Uber Technologies Inc., and its holdings also include Slack Technologies Inc. and Jet.com Inc., the e-commerce star-tup Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said this week it will buy for about $3 billion. GV manages $2.4 billion and has about 70 employees, most of whom help startups design, develop and market their products.
In recent months, Alphabet has lost several high-profile executives, including Chris Urmson, a key engineer at its self-driving car initiative, and Tony Fadell, who ran its Nest home appliance business. Maris is expected to discuss his departure with GV staff on Thursday, saying he plans to spend more time with his wife and baby, said the person familiar with the matter. Before joining Google, Maris worked at Swedish firm Investor AB managing biotechnology investments. He founded and sold Burlee, a web hosting business. Bloomberg