South African Roelof Botha at the head of the American venture capital giant which has backed Apple and Airbnb

  • South African Roelof Botha has been appointed head of the famous American venture capital firm Sequoia Capital.
  • Sequoia has supported many major global companies, ranging from Apple to Airbnb to Zoom.
  • Botha is the grandson of the late politician Pik Botha and is a former chief financial officer of PayPal.

Legendary venture capital firm Sequoia Capital has named a new leader. Roelof Botha (48) will become the firm’s senior steward.

“Botha’s keen instinct for innovation has left its mark on our partnership and on our industry,” current Sequoia chief Doug Leone wrote in a statement. Twitter post Monday. He also said Botha will “set the overall tone and oversee the global centralized functions” of the company, including its finances and culture, and that Botha will continue to lead Sequoia’s US and European businesses as managing partner. .

Sequoia has supported many major global companies, ranging from Apple to Airbnb to Zoom. Founded by former semiconductor executive Don Valentine, it is one of the few venture capital firms to consistently outperform the broader stock market decade after decade.

Botha is the grandson of late politician Pik Botha. Born in Pretoria, he grew up in Hout Bay and attended Hoërskool Jan van Riebeeck in Cape Town. In 1996, he graduated from the University of Cape Town with a degree in Actuarial Science.

He worked in the American consulting firm McKinsey & Co in Johannesburg in the late 90s, before leaving for the United States to do an MBA at Stanford.

Botha then became chief financial officer of PayPal and worked there alongside fellow South African Elon Musk.

Leone (64) said he would remain a general partner in the company’s existing funds and retain his seats on the board.

As part of the announcement, Sequoia said Neil Shen will continue to lead the company’s China business as founder and managing partner. Forbes previously broke the news of Botha’s new position.

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Company representatives are gathered in London for the company’s annual meeting with limited partners or institutional investors, which begins Monday evening. During a Q&A on Tuesday, the company plans to showcase its “next chapter,” Leone said in the statement.

Sequoia’s US venture arm is the company’s oldest business, dating back to 1972. Since then, the company has expanded its US arm into Europe and launched separate venture capital arms in China and India. . She also launched the wealth management firm Sequoia Heritage and the public-private hybrid Sequoia Capital Global Equities. Over time, the company’s business entities were run increasingly independently as each grew in size and impact. The venture arms share some, but not all, limited partners and make independent investment decisions, a spokeswoman said.

As recently as 2020, Leone used an elaborate metaphor involving mixed nuts to explain to Acquired podcast hosts that different parts of Sequoia take an equal percentage of the profits. “We mix them up and then we redistribute them so that we all get a share of mixed nuts but no one gets more nuts,” he said. A spokeswoman said there would be no change to the profit sharing system.

This year, the company has updated its structure in order to be able to participate in a wider range of investments outside of traditional venture capital and to retain invested capital longer.

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Recently, challenges have emerged in Sequoia’s business in China as regulatory measures on both sides of the Pacific squeeze China’s tech industry and create unpredictability.

Botha joined Sequoia in 2003 and became a steward in 2017, according to the letter. He will officially assume the global leadership role on July 5, the day after Leone’s 65th birthday.

Additional reports by Fin24.

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