Its Big Thing To See
Steve Jurvetson, the high-flying investor and Tesla board member ousted from his venture capital firm almost a year ago, is making moves as part of his attempted comeback, Recode has learned.
Jurvetson is searching for co-founders to join Future Ventures, his new investing firm, and one likely hire is Maryanna Saenko, a former DFJ associate, according to people familiar with the matter. Saenko is currently a principal, or a junior investor, at Khosla Ventures.
Jurvetson declined to comment through a spokesperson. But on his personal Facebook page on Wednesday, Jurvetson referenced “my co-founder” as a speaker at a space conference and said “she is fantastic” — lines he deleted from the Facebook post just a few hours later. Saenko was also scheduled to speak at the conference.
That might be because talks are still ongoing. Saenko, who joined Khosla just this past June, did not respond to requests for comment. She was working at Khosla as recently as this week, one person said.
Saenko was hired to work with Jurvetson at DFJ and worked closely with him, but she does not have anywhere close to the profile as Jurvetson, who is a close friend of Elon Musk. So while she is not a big name in her own right, their fund will be under the microscope given that Jurvetson remains in Musk’s orbit and is one of the most famous venture capitalists in Silicon Valley.
Other major hires are expected for what will likely be a pretty big fund.
Almost a year ago, Jurvetson was voted out of the firm he founded decades ago, after his fellow investors grew concerned about his personal conduct, which included multiple affairs with women in the tech industry. A few months later, the investor was back on the fundraising circuit and building a new firm, Future Ventures, and his initial website discovered by Recode referenced a co-founder.
Jurvetson has also, remarkably, not been permanently removed or reinstated from the Tesla board — instead he has remained “on leave” for almost a year despite the company’s governance problems. Experts on corporate boards have described this as highly unusual.
Tesla spokespeople have repeatedly declined to address Jurvetson’s status, including as recently as this week.
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