There's some big news in the world of venture capital breaking on Wednesday night, which could have a major impact on one of the ecosystem's largest firms.
Bill Maris, founder and chief of GV (formerly known as Google Ventures) is leaving, according to a report out from Fortune. Maris is said to have announced the news in a memo to the firm's employees, and will be giving more information on Thursday.
Maris founded GV in 2009 and he currently oversees all of the fund’s global activities. His replacement is said to be David Krane, the firm's managing partner, who co-manages the fund. Krane has been with Google for over 16 years, where he spent over nine years as its director of Global Communications and Public Affairs.
No reason for Maris' departure are being reported, but the timing is very interesting: this news comes one year to the day that Google restructured itself as Alphabet. That move has come with some cost-cutting measures that have caused some strife.
It may not be coincidence that Maris is following Nest founder Tony Fadell, and Chris Urmson, leader of Google's self-driving car project, out the door.
GV is a non-strategic and independent venture arm of Alphabet. The firm has $2.4 billion under management, 300 portfolio companies, and offices in Mountain View, San Francisco, Boston, New York, and London. Some of its most high profile Investments include Uber, Nest, DocuSign, Cloudera, Flatiron Health, and Foundation Medicine.
GV was the most active U.S. corporate venture arm in the first half of 2016, according to data from CB Insights. Some of its investments included ClassPass, Udacity, Medium, 23andMe, Cockroach Labs, Slack and Jet.com, which Walmart just bought for $3 billion.
Maris has deep ties to Google. He was friends with Anne Wojcicki, a founder of the genetics company 23andMe, and former wife of Google founder Sergey Brin. Before coming to Google, Maris founded, and sold, Web-hosting company Burlee.com.
There's no word on what Maris plans to do next after leaving GV, though he does have a long history in health companies and biotech. He was instrumental in the formation of Google’s Calico project in 2013, whose aim was to take on the aging process, focusing on health and well-being, particularly when it comes to aging and diseases associated with that process.
Before coming to Google, Maris also worked in biotechnology portfolio management for Swedish investment firm Investor AB. So there's a good chance of Maris continuing to do something in that field.
VatorNews has reached out to GV for confirmation of this report, but the firm could not be reached for comment. We will update this story if we learn more.
(Image source: bloomberg.com)