L. John Doerr (born June 29, 1951) is an American venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in Menlo Park, California. In February 2009, Doerr was appointed a member of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board to provide the President and his administration with advice and counsel in trying to fix America's economic downturn. As of July 2017[update], Forbes ranked Doerr as the 105th richest person in the United States and the 303rd richest person in the world, with a net worth of US$ 7.5 billion as of February 16, 2018.
Doerr was born in St. Louis, Missouri. One of five siblings, Doerr graduated from Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis. He obtained a B.S. and M.E.E. degrees in electrical engineering from Rice University and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1976.
Doerr joined Intel Corporation in 1974 just as the firm was developing the 8080 8-bit microprocessor. He eventually became one of Intel's most successful salespeople. He also holds several patents for memory devices.
He joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers in 1980, and since then has directed venture capital funding to some of the most successful technology companies in the world including Compaq, Netscape, Symantec, Sun Microsystems, drugstore.com, Amazon.com, Intuit, Macromedia, and Google.
Doerr has backed some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs, including Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt of Google; Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com; and Scott Cook and Bill Campbell of Intuit.
Doerr co-founded and serves on the board of the New Schools Venture Fund, an education reform and charter public schools fund, and TechNet, a policy network of high-tech CEOs advocating education and litigation reform, and policies for the innovation economy. Doerr co-chaired California's Proposition 39 which lowered the threshold to approved school bonds, and Proposition 71 which created $3 billion in funding for California research into stem cell therapies. He serves on the board of Bono's ONE campaign to fight global poverty, particularly disease in Africa. His success in venture capital has garnered national attention; he has been listed on Forbes magazine's exclusive "Midas List" and is widely regarded as one of the top technology venture capitalists in the world.
Doerr advocates innovation in clean energy technologies to combat climate change, and has written and testified on the topic. In a 2007 TED conference, he cited his daughter's remark, "your generation created this problem, you better fix it", as a call to fight global warming.
In 2008 he announced with Steve Jobs the Kleiner Perkins $100 million iFund, declaring the iPhone "more important than the personal computer" because "it knows who you are" and "where you are." In April 2010, he along with other iFund members announced an increase in iFund's value by another $100 million, making iFund the worlds biggest investment pool in the cell phone application industry.
In 2013 he invested in DreamBox which has been acquired by Charter School Growth Fund. He had also funded the initial investments in Bloom Energy Inc. Doerr is a major backer of the education company, Remind.
Doerr mentored Ellen Pao when she first joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Before changing his mind in 2012, he was known for challenging those who gave her negative performance reviews.
In February 2009, Doerr was appointed as a member of the USA Economic Recovery Advisory Board by President Barack Obama to provide the President and his administration with advice and counsel in fixing America's economic downturn.
In August 2010, they signed the Giving Pledge, a campaign set up by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Warren Buffett to get ultra-high-net-worth individuals to donate their fortunes to charitable causes within their lifetime.
In 2010, Doerr was inducted into the California Hall of Fame.
In April 2013, a lobbying group called FWD.us (aimed at lobbying for immigration reform and improvements to education) was launched, with John Doerr listed as one of the founders. Doerr is a supporter of the Democratic Party and has hosted fundraisers for them on several occasions.
The careful reader will notice that I was not present for several scenes in the latter part of the book. To reconstruct these episodes, I relied on the taped recollections of as many of the participants as possible. I am deeply indebted to several people – especially Robert Carr, Bill Campbell, Randy Komisar, and John Doerr – who gave freely of their time to describe these scenes.
Mr. Schlein and all the other digital partners felt that way, except me. I saw it differently.