No More Moritz On Google’s Board

    March 22, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Michael Moritz will not seek re-election to Google’s board of directors, choosing instead to devote that time to venture capital giant Sequoia Capital.

Google CEO Eric Schmidt and co-founder Sergey Brin bid Moritz adieu with kind words after their long time board member decided not to try for another term once Google’s stockholder meeting takes place May 10th.

Comments from two of Google’s top trio arrived via statement:

“Mike’s many contributions to Google over the years as investor and director helped us immensely,” said Eric Schmidt, Google’s chief executive officer. “His insights, drive, and determination are part of Google today and will be so forever.”

“Larry and I both have valued Mike’s counsel and wisdom from Google’s earliest days,” added Sergey Brin, Google’s co-founder and president of technology. “We respect his decision to focus more of his energies on Sequoia, but will miss him. Sequoia provided crucial advice, funding and leadership to Google and we look forward to working with the entire set of distinguished partners at Sequoia in the future.”

Part of Moritz’s tenure on the Google board saw the company go public in August 2004. In September 2005, the Wall Street Journal revealed that Sequoia enjoyed the opportunity, as did Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, to drop out of the IPO and hang onto all of their shares instead of selling them when the IPO took place.

Other early investors were not allowed to hold back shares, in order to cover for the resulting overallotment. That cost people like Stanford professor David Cheriton some significant money, as he said in the report that “only the suckers” had to sell all of their shares at an IPO price that was less than anticipated.

By holding its shares back, Moritz’s firm could wait for the high-flying stock to hit a more profitable price. Moritz may have helped Google with his insights, but he’s certainly profited handsomely from his work on the board.

Tech gossip site Valleywag seems to have a fascination with the world of venture capital, so it’s no surprise that interim editor (and Gawker Media’s top guy) Nick Denton would comment on Moritz leaving the board:

It would be tempting to suspect some backroom fallout. Here’s a line: Google secretly furious that Sequoia, which was the lead investor in the online video site, landed Mountain View with its YouTube nightmare. But the real reason is more prosaic, and alluded to in Google’s release.

Moritz just needs more time with his Sequoia family, according to Denton.