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.[3] As of July 2017, 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.[2]

Early life

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.[4]


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.[5][6]

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.[7]

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.[citation needed]

Venture funding

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.[8]

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.[9]

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.[10]

He currently serves on the boards of Google, Amyris Biotech, and Zynga. Doerr led Kleiner Perkins's $150 million investment in Twitter.[11][12]

In 2013 he invested in DreamBox[13][14] 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.[citation needed]

Doerr mentored Ellen Pao when she first joined Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.[15] Before changing his mind in 2012, he was known for challenging those who gave her negative performance reviews.[16]

Economic Recovery Advisory Board

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.[17][18]

Personal life

Doerr is married to Ann Howland Doerr. They live in Woodside, California, with their children.[19]

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.[20][21]


In 1997, Doerr was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Rice University for his accomplishments in business.[22]

In 2009, Doerr was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.[23][24][25]

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.[26]


  1. ^ Info about John Doerr's degrees from Rice -- including, notably, the fact that his "Master's" degree from Rice is an Master of Electrical EngineeringM.EE, not an M.S. degree -- was obtained from the Rice alumni "online directory" (accessed June 18, 2017). Comment: Finding such information using the Rice alumni "online directory" did require a password (at least, on [as of] June 18, 2017); however, since John Doerr (together with his wife) is "also" among the major donors to Rice, [perhaps the largest ever, since William Marsh Rice], -- see, e.g., this press release -- the information may well be publicly available some other way; e.g. to (and/or from) information providers such as Forbes magazine, which has featured John Doerr on its cover at least once in the past.
  2. ^ a b "Forbes". Retrieved February 14, 2018. 
  3. ^ "Los Angeles Times article Who's Who on new economic advisory board". Los Angeles Times. February 6, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2009. 
  4. ^ "John Doerr, MBA 1976". Harvard Business School. 2008-01-01. Retrieved 2015-10-04. 
  5. ^ A US 4096582 A, Paul T. Bailey; L. John Doerr & Robert M. Sandfort, "Field-accessed magnetic bubble mutually exclusive circuits with common elements", issued 1978-06-20 
  6. ^ A US 3879716 A, Paul T. Bailey & L. John Doerr, "Mutually exclusive magnetic bubble propagation circuits with discrete elements", issued 1975-04-22 
  7. ^ Kaplan, Jerry (1996) [first published by Houghton Mifflin Company 1994]. Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure. Bridgewater, New Jersey, U.S.: Penguin Books. pp. 301–02. ISBN 0-7351-0141-8. ISBN 0-395-71133-9 (hc.); ISBN 0 14 025731 4 (pbk.). Retrieved June 13, 2010. 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. 
  8. ^ Loizos, Connie (2015-07-30). "KPCB's John Doerr is coming to Disrupt SF". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2015-10-04. 
  9. ^ "John Doerr sees salvation and profit in greentech". TED. 
  10. ^ John Doerr: The Next Big Thing. TechCrunch (2010-04-05); retrieved 2013-07-18.
  11. ^ "Kleiner Perkins investment in Twitter". Retrieved July 11, 2012. 
  12. ^ Hagan, Joe (October 2, 2011). "Tweet Science". New York Magazine. Retrieved October 9, 2011. 
  13. ^ Wan, Tony (December 17, 2013). "Netflix' Reed Hastings Leads $14.5M Series A1 for DreamBox". edSurge. Retrieved March 26, 2014. 
  14. ^ Cook, John (December 17, 2013). "Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, VC John Doerr invest $14.5M in DreamBox Learning". Geekwire. Retrieved Mar 26, 2014. 
  15. ^ Kulwin, Noah (2015-03-23). "A who's who of the Kleiner Perkins-Ellen Pao trial". Recode. Retrieved 2015-10-02. 
  16. ^ Helen Huet (March 4, 2015). "Kleiner Perkins's John Doerr And Ellen Pao: A Mentorship Sours". Forbes. Retrieved March 6, 2015. Mr. Schlein and all the other digital partners felt that way, except me. I saw it differently. 
  17. ^ John Doerr sees salvation and profit in greentech Video on. Ted.com. Retrieved on 2013-07-18.
  18. ^ "Obama appoints John Doerr to economic advisory board". VentureBeat. 2009-02-06. Retrieved 2017-05-22. 
  19. ^ Siegler, MG (2010-05-24). "John Doerr to Charlie Rose: I use my iPad in church". Tech Crunch. Retrieved 2015-10-02. 
  20. ^ "The Giving Pledge - Pledge List". The Giving Pledge. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  21. ^ "John Doerr - Tech Philanthropists". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  22. ^ "Association of Rice Alumni". Rice Alumni. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  23. ^ "American Academy Announces 2009 Class of Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. April 20, 2009. Retrieved May 1, 2009. 
  24. ^ "[American Academy of Arts & Sciences] NEWLY ELECTED MEMBERS, APRIL 2009" (PDF). American Academy of Arts & Sciences. p. 3. Retrieved May 1, 2009.  (see also the 4th entry on page 10 of the AAAS New members list for April 2009 sorted by field)
  25. ^ "Rice Professor Naomi Halas, alums John Doerr and Karen Davis elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences". Rice University. April 23, 2009. Retrieved April 25, 2013. 
  26. ^ Marinucci, Caria (2014-10-07). "Dems, GOP holding mega-fundraisers on same street in Woodside". SF Gate. Retrieved 2015-10-04. 

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