Michael Moritz Leaves Sequoia Capital: An Unfolding Chapter in Venture Capital History

by / ⠀Featured News / July 21, 2023
Michael Moritz Leaves Sequoia Capital: An Unfolding Chapter in Venture Capital History

Renowned journalist-turned-VC, Michael Moritz, bids farewell to Sequoia Capital after 38 remarkable years, opting to deepen his ties with Sequoia Heritage, a wealth management unit co-founded with colleague Doug Leone in 2010. The move is effective immediately, with Moritz continuing to represent Sequoia Capital at select companies. However, as time progresses, his roles will be transitioned to other partners.

Moritz’s decision wasn’t taken lightly; he stepped down from active management in 2012 due to a “rare medical condition” with uncertain future prospects. Despite this, his influence endured. Moritz remained involved with Sequoia, backing Getir, Instacart, Strava, Klarna, and Stripe.

The departure of Doug Leone was a gradual process, unlike Moritz’s. Sequoia’s transitions are thoughtful, ensuring a smooth shift. While Moritz’s withdrawal might raise eyebrows, Sequoia has seen recent changes, such as breaking up into new firms: HongShan and Peak XV Partners.

The world of startup investing faces recovery from frothy years. Sequoia’s restructuring aimed to hold public shares longer and invest in emerging assets, including cryptocurrencies. Although fruitful in the long term, unfortunate timing impacted market performance.

Strong relationships within Sequoia have seen departures, with investors Kais Khimji and Daniel Chen spinning up AI companies backed by Sequoia. Additionally, Mike Vernal is taking a break. Sequoia’s scout program sees oversight shifts with Bryan Schreier, Jess Lee, and Ian Taylor.

Michael Moritz’s decision leaves a leadership gap in Sequoia, as per venture capitalists. Amidst market adjustments, Sequoia’s assets trended down to $55.58 billion compared to $85 billion in 2021.

Sequoia Capital’s Assets: Trends and Future

Sequoia Capital, a prominent player in venture capital, recently faced notable transitions as Michael Moritz, a long-standing investor, leaves to focus on Sequoia Heritage. This decision raises questions about the firm’s future and impact on the industry. While Sequoia is known for strategic and thoughtful transitions, Moritz’s swift departure comes at a time of broader market adjustments and geopolitical complexities.

The article highlights Sequoia’s recent efforts to adapt to changing market dynamics, such as restructuring to hold public shares longer and investing in emerging assets like cryptocurrencies. Although these strategies may prove fruitful over time, their timing coincided with market turbulence, affecting the value of public company shares.

Moritz’s involvement in Sequoia Heritage, along with his continued representation of the firm at select companies, marks an intriguing development. It leaves room for speculation about the direction of Sequoia’s investments and the potential impact of Moritz’s advisory role.

The departure of other key figures, such as Doug Leone and Mike Vernal, adds to the complexities faced by Sequoia. Their roles within the firm and contributions to its investment decisions may be missed, raising questions about the impact on the firm’s overall strategies and portfolio.

Furthermore, the article mentions Sequoia’s decision to break up into new firms, HongShan and Peak XV Partners, with a focus on China and India, amid geopolitical challenges affecting U.S. investors’ funding in the region. This move may have implications for the firm’s reach and influence in the global market.

With Sequoia’s assets trending down, the firm faces an opportunity to redefine its investment approach. This raises curiosity about the types of startups and industries Sequoia will prioritize in the coming years and how it plans to navigate the ever-changing venture capital landscape.


Q: Why did Michael Moritz leave Sequoia Capital?

A: Moritz decided to “deepen his advisory relationship” with Sequoia Heritage, the wealth management unit he co-founded.

Q: What role will Michael Moritz play at Sequoia Heritage?

A: While transitioning from Sequoia Capital, Moritz will continue representing the firm at select companies within Sequoia Heritage.

Q: How did Sequoia Capital handle the transitions amidst Michael Moritz’s departure?

A: The firm is known for thoughtful transitions; however, Moritz’s departure unfolded swiftly due to his earlier relinquishment of day-to-day responsibilities.

Q: How has Sequoia Capital adapted to market changes?

A: Sequoia Capital restructured to hold public shares longer and ventured into emerging asset classes like cryptocurrencies to ensure long-term growth.

Q: What impact did market turbulence have on Sequoia’s strategies?

A: The restructuring coincided with market turbulence, affecting the value of public company shares, despite optimistic long-term prospects.

Q: What are the implications of the departures of Doug Leone and Mike Vernal?

A: The departures may impact the firm’s investment decisions and portfolio, considering the key roles they played in strategic oversight and investments.

Q: How will Sequoia’s break-up into new firms affect its reach?

A: The decision to break up into new firms, HongShan and Peak XV Partners, with a focus on China and India, may influence the firm’s global market presence.

Q: What is the current state of Sequoia Capital’s assets?

A: As per a recent SEC filing, Sequoia Capital’s assets stood at $55.58 billion, compared to $85 billion at the end of 2021, reflecting trends in the broader startup market.


First reported on TechCrunch

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Kimberly Zhang

Editor in Chief of Under30CEO. I have a passion for helping educate the next generation of leaders.