Al Gore becomes partner at venture capital firm

Former vice president Al Gore is becoming a partner at one of Silicon Valley's most storied venture capital firms.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers said Monday that Gore, a Nobel Peace Prize co-winner and campaigner to slow climate change, will join the venture capital firm in Menlo Park as a partner focused on alternative energy investments.

The firm, which since 1972 has backed start-ups ranging from Amazon amzn to Google, goog has emerged in recent years as a leading funder of such energy ventures.

Gore, 59, is joining the Kleiner board as part of a collaboration between his Generation Investment Management fund and Kleiner Perkins to fund so-called green businesses, technologies and policies that address global climate change.

Other active or affiliated partners at Kleiner Perkins include legendary computer company backer John Doerr, alternative energy financier Vinod Khosla and former secretary of State Colin Powell. Doerr also has long been a major supporter of Gore's political and policy efforts.

Kleiner has historically focused on making investments in and around Silicon Valley. However, it recently expanded operations in China. And as it moves into energy investments, it has taken on a more global profile in its operations.

Generation and Kleiner will remain focused on separate activities, with Kleiner investing in start-ups and Generation continuing its focus on investing in publicly traded companies focused on alternative energy or agriculture.

Gore said his Kleiner Perkins partner's salary will be donated to the Alliance for Climate Protection, a non-partisan foundation he chairs.

The donation does not include stock options. Typically, a tiny fraction of a venture capitalist's compensation is salary; the vast majority of wealth comes from sale of stock options when the companies the firm invests in are sold to the public. "It's one of the benefits of not being in the public sector anymore," Gore said.

He wouldn't say how much Kleiner Perkins was paying him.

As a member of Congress for 25 years, Gore popularized the term "information superhighway" and was instrumental in providing money for what later became the Internet. In the 1990s, his critics pilloried him for implying that he deserved credit as "the father of the Internet."

Since leaving government, Gore has played an active role in advising top Silicon Valley companies. He sits on computer maker Apple's board and is a senior adviser to online search giant Google.

Join the Discussion
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
You Might Also Like...