- 5 May, 23
John Doerr 101: Famous Investor and Venture Capitalist
In our article titled “John Doerr 101: Who is the Famous Investor and Venture Capitalist?” on Zatrun.com, we will delve into everything you need to know about the renowned investor and venture capitalist, John Doerr.
Table of Contents
Who is John Doerr?
L. John Doerr, an investor and venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins in Menlo Park, California, was born on June 29, 1951. In February 2009, Doerr was appointed as a member of the Economic Recovery Advisory Board, aimed at fixing America’s economic downturn. According to Forbes in 2017, Doerr was among the top 40 richest people in technology. As of April 12, 2023, Forbes ranked Doerr as the world’s 196th richest person with a net worth of $9.8 billion. Doerr is the author of “Measure What Matters”, a book on goal-setting, and “Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now”.
In 2022, John and his wife Ann collaborated with Stanford University to launch their first new school in approximately 70 years: the Stanford Doerr Sustainability School. Doerr was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and is a member of a family of five children. He graduated from Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis. Doerr received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in electrical engineering from Rice University in 1976, and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
John Doerr joined Intel Corporation in 1974 and began working at the company while they were developing the 8080 8-bit microprocessor. He later became one of Intel’s most successful sales representatives and holds patents for several memory devices. In 1980, Doerr received a job offer from Kleiner Perkins. Intel’s president, Andrew Grove, told him, “John, venture capital is not a real job. It’s like being a real estate agent.”
That year, Doerr joined Kleiner Perkins and has since directed venture capital funding to technology companies such as Compaq, Netscape, Symantec, Sun Microsystems, drugstore.com, Amazon.com, Intuit, Macromedia, and Google. John Doerr has supported entrepreneurs such as Google’s Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt; Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos; and Intuit’s Scott Cook and Bill Campbell.
Venture Capital Funding:
John Doerr is the co-founder and board member of New Schools Venture Fund, which supports education reform and charter schools. He also serves on the board of TechNet, a policy network advocating for education and justice reform, as well as innovative policies for the economy. Doerr co-chaired Proposition 39, which lowered the approval threshold for California school bonds, and Proposition 71, which created a $3 billion fund for stem cell treatments. He sits on the board of Bono’s ONE campaign, which aims to fight global poverty.
His success in the venture capital field has gained national attention, earning him a spot on Forbes magazine’s exclusive “Midas List,” and he is widely recognized as one of the world’s top technology venture capitalists. Doerr advocates for innovation in clean energy technologies to combat climate change, having written articles and given speeches on the topic. At a TED conference in 2007, he referred to his daughter’s statement, “You guys created this problem, you need to fix it,” as a call to action for combating global warming.
In 2008, he and Steve Jobs announced the Kleiner Perkins $100 million iFund, stating that the iPhone was “more important than the personal computer” and that the fund was created because it knew “who you are” and “where you are.” In April 2010, along with other iFund members, they increased the value of the iFund by another $100 million, making it the largest investment pool in the mobile application industry. Today, L. John Doerr serves on the boards of Google, Amyris Biotech, Tradesy, ASAPP, and Zynga.
Doerr led Kleiner Perkins’ $150 million investment in Twitter in 2012 and invested in DreamBox, which was acquired by the Charter School Growth Fund in 2013. He also funded Bloom Energy Inc.’s initial investments and is a strong supporter of education company Remind. In 2016, Doerr stepped down from his leadership role at Kleiner Perkins and handed over the reins to Ted Schlein. Despite being known for challenging negative performance evaluations, he changed his stance in 2012 and mentored Ellen Pao when she joined Kleiner Perkins.
Economic Recovery Advisory Board:
In February 2009, L. John Doerr was appointed as a member of the U.S. Economic Recovery Advisory Board by President Barack Obama to provide advice and counsel to the President and his administration on fixing America’s economic downturn.
John Doerr is married to Ann Howland Doerr and they reside in the city of Woodside, California with their two children. In August 2010, they signed the Giving Pledge, which was established by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Warren Buffett. This campaign encourages ultra-high net worth individuals to donate to charitable causes throughout their lifetimes.
In 1997, Rice University recognized his achievements in the business world by awarding him the title of Distinguished Alumnus. Doerr was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009. In 2010, he was included in the California Hall of Fame. In 2019, he received the Golden Plate Award for American Achievement.
Furthermore, he is a member of the Khan Academy Global Advisory Council. On May 4, 2022, Stanford University announced that Ann and John Doerr’s $1.1 billion donation will establish the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability. This donation is the second largest donation ever made to an academic institution, with Michael Bloomberg’s $1.8 billion donation to Johns Hopkins University in first place. It is the largest donation in Stanford’s history.
John Doerr is a supporter of the Democratic Party and has organized several fundraising events for the party. In April 2013, he was among the founders of FWD.us, a lobbying group primarily financed by Mark Zuckerberg, which aims to lobby for immigration reform and improvements in education.