Michael Moritz Of Sequoia Capital To Step Back Daily Work To Focus On Investments [UPDATED]

Posted May 21, 2012

Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital is one of the most legendary deal-makers. Through Sequoia, he led investments into Google, Yahoo!, Flextronics, A123 Systems, Zappos.com, Kayak.com, ITA, Gamefly, and PayPal. Moritz will now be stepping back from the daily work at the company, but he will still be deeply involved in the company and will be spending more time on investments.

“He’s stepping back from daily management so he can devote more time to the investment side of the business,” stated Sequoia’s Andrew Kovacs. “He and Doug together have been managing day to day things, everything from compliance to legal. Now he’s going to focus on working with younger entrepreneurs and younger partners — and he’ll be taking a few more weeks vacation.”

Below is an e-mail that Moritz sent out to some of his business associates.

Dear [xyz],

We have always tried to be straightforward with you and, in that spirit, I need to share something. Unfortunately, I have been diagnosed with a rare medical condition which can be managed but is incurable. I’ve been told that in the next five to ten years the quality of my life is quite likely to decline. Right now I feel fitter than ever and I hope that I’ll be one of the lucky ones who can live a full life and defy the statisticians. But there is no way of predicting this with certainty and thus for me, life has assumed a different meaning and I am making some adjustments.

I am going to extract myself from the daily management of Sequoia Capital, a task that has consumed a large part of my time for the past sixteen years. I will become Chairman of Sequoia Capital and will be deeply involved with nurturing the fresh investments, ideas and relationships that can be of significant long-term benefit for all of us. I will also work very closely with some of our younger and newer members, will continue my role as Managing Member of existing funds and maintain all my current company responsibilities. I will use twelve to fourteen weeks ? sprinkled throughout the course of each year ? for various pursuits, diversions and trivial indulgences.

Nothing about this should cause much of a change because everything that has been achieved at Sequoia Capital has resulted from the teamwork and contribution of many people. Our overall business is in the best shape it has ever been and we are better positioned than at any time in our forty year history. Doug Leone will assume full responsibility for coordinating the business we have gradually developed over the past couple of decades and almost everything else remains entirely the same.

Thanks for your support,

Michael Moritz

NOTE: This post has been corrected for accuracy. I received clarification from Mr. Kovacs.