Sequoia posted a tribute to Valentine shortly afterward, calling him “considered one of a era of leaders who solid Silicon Valley.”
A local of New York, Valentine majored in chemistry at Fordham College earlier than becoming a member of Raytheon in South California, then shifting north to the Bay Space to work at Fairchild Semiconductor, the place over time, Valentine started investing his personal small checks into expertise firms that he was assembly. Based on Sequoia Capital, he quickly attracted the eye of an early mutual fund group, Capital Group, which staked Valentine, permitting him to type a $three million enterprise fund in 1974. Amongst his first bets from that pool of capital: Atari and Apple. He later led the agency into quite a few different high-flyers, together with Cisco Techniques.
Valentine proceed to guide Sequoia till handing over the reins effectively earlier than retirement age to Doug Leone and Michael Moritz, although he continued attending associate conferences for one more 10 years. The companions have mentioned they had been glad for his continued recommendation and steerage — not that they all the time agreed with him.
In 2017, in step with the agency’s give attention to succession and making certain clean transitions, associate Roelof Botha was made U.S. head of the agency working below Leone, who oversees the agency’s world operations with Neil Shen, the founder and managing associate of Sequoia Capital China. (Moritz stepped away for well being causes in 2012, although he has continued to stay actively concerned within the agency.)
Leone issued a press release this afternoon about Valentine’s passing, writing: “We’re deeply saddened to share that Don Valentine handed away on October 25, 2019. Don’s life is woven into the material of Silicon Valley. He formed Sequoia and left his imprint not simply on these of us who had the privilege to work with him or the various philanthropic establishments that invested with Sequoia, but in addition on the founders and leaders of among the most vital expertise firms of the later a part of the 20 th century. Our ideas are with Don’s spouse, Rachel, together with his household, and with all these impressed by his pioneering imaginative and prescient and indelible impression.”
Valentine selected the title Sequoia as a result of it “conveyed the longevity and power of the tallest of redwoods,” in response to the agency’s tribute at present to Valentine. The companions be aware, too, the “humility of somebody who kept away from placing his personal title on our enterprise.”
Valentine is survived by his spouse; three youngsters; and 7 grandchildren, in response to Sequoia.
Valentine joined TechCrunch at a Disrupt occasion again in 2013. He appeared together with one other pioneer of the enterprise trade, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers cofounder Tom Perkins . Perkins handed away in June 2016 at age 84.