Andreessen Horowitz Founders Begin Stepping Back
Comment of the Day

December 10 2021

Commentary by Eoin Treacy

Andreessen Horowitz Founders Begin Stepping Back

This article from Bloomberg may be of interest to subscribers. Here is a section:

Their individual real estate decisions are one sign of a significant, if slow-motion, shift at their company, the prominent venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, or a16z. They started a16z in 2009 after selling a data center automation startup they co-founded for $1.6 billion. Over the next decade or so, the firm helped define an era in Silicon Valley’s tech and venture capital industries as they backed tiny startups that turned into multibillion-dollar businesses, with enormous economic and cultural implications. A16z has backed many of the world-beating startups of the past decade, including Airbnb, Coinbase, GitHub, Slack, and Stripe. (Bloomberg LP, which owns Bloomberg Businessweek, has invested in Andreessen Horowitz.)

The firm’s founders, while still active leaders with the ultimate responsibility for its strategy and direction, are no longer as involved in daily operations as they were in the early days, say people who have worked with the men and those around them. They’ve also begun to lower their involvement on corporate boards. Horowitz sits on 11 boards, down from 16 early last year; Andreessen’s biography lists 7 company board seats, including on Meta Platforms Inc., down from 11 three years ago. Andreessen and Horowitz declined interview requests through an a16z spokesperson, who also declined to answer questions about the firm.

Eoin Treacy's view

Regime change at private equity firms is virtually unheard of. The most successful companies tend to be led by visionary investors with a talent for spotting market trends and that is not easy to replicate through training. Anyone who has the skillset and connections, has more incentive to start their own firm than stay on. Passing the baton of leadership is a difficult challenge.

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