More high-level departures at Google as man in charge of Alphabet investment arm steps down
The founder and CEO of Google’s venture-capital arm, Bill Maris, is to leave the company in the latest of a number of high profile departures at Alphabet.
Recode, quoting unnamed sources, reported that Maris is departing GV (formerly Google Ventures) on Friday. He will be replaced by David Krane, a managing partner for the venture arm and a former corporate communications managers at Google.
Under his leadership, Google Ventures established itself as one of the leading technology investment firms, posing a significant challenge to rivals such as Intel Capital. In 2015 it reportedly managed in excess of $2.4 billion in capital.
As with any venture capitalist firm, it achieved a number of successes (and failures) over the years. Successes included investments in startups such as Uber, Nest, Slack and Jet.com, but misses include the app Secret.
In recent years Google Ventures has branched out from its tech base, and increased its investments in startups operating in fields such as health and biotech. But it also withdrew from Europe after it rolled up its European investment arm last December into its global operation, only a year after launching it in Europe.
Google Ventures Europe had launched in July 2014 with an initial £100 million investment, which was later raised to £125 million several months later in an attempt to widen its sphere of influence. But it only invested in six companies, five of which (Kobalt, Lost My Name, Yieldify, the Oxford Science Innovation Fund and Secret Escapes) were based in the UK.
Industry observers have noted that Google has experienced a number of high level departures recently.
Maris’s departure is the fourth high level move from Google in the last few months. Chris Urmson, the chief technical officer of Google’s self driving car project, left the firm last week. Product manager Anthony Levandowski also left earlier this year.
Nest boss Tony Fadell also left in June this year.
Prior to that Chris O’Neill, the former business head for the Google Glass project, stepped down last year.
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