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Welcoming Jordan Ormont as Menlo’s Talent Partner

May 25, 2016

We couldn’t be more excited to announce our new partner, Jordan Ormont! I had the pleasure of working with Jordan for eight years at Kleiner Perkins and witnessed firsthand the impact he had on companies and the passion with which he works with them. Jordan, along with my former partner Juliet de Baubigny, has defined the role of Talent Partner. Many firms have a “recruiting partner,” but a Talent Partner is a different strategic role helping evolve and grow the talent within the firm and across the portfolio, as well as building a shared network of emerging entrepreneurs and executives we hope to work with now and in the future.

Jordan is a critical pillar in a program we’ve been working on for some time, called Fuel. Fuel is the result of many months of asking entrepreneurs how venture capitalists can have the most impact and add the most value. We concluded, from many interviews, that aside from being an important strategic advisor, entrepreneurs most valued help with their early go-to-market strategies and execution. That consists of optimizing sales and marketing, having access to key customers and partners, and getting the right people into the company at the right time. And those are the four pillars of Fuel: sales, marketing, customer development, and talent. Our goal is to better help entrepreneurs accelerate their time to cross the early chasm and begin to scale. We realize that entrepreneurs ultimately have the grit and fortitude to make this happen, but we now have a set of focused, complimentary resources in place to augment the entrepreneurs efforts and help them with everything from a strategic assessment of a key GTM issue, to offering domain specific tactics, to working closely with companies to map out their organizational requirements (and help fill those searches).

The program consists of four dedicated individuals, in addition to the investing partners. Jim Dawson, former VP Sales at 3Par and FusionIO, leads the sales pillar, which is focused on helping companies with everything from sales model to sales architecture to bringing on the right sales leadership team. Jenny Saling leads the marketing pillar focused on marketing strategy and PR. Kayla Hinderscheid focuses on partner and customer network development, as well as our CIO council and customer briefings. And now Jordan completes the picture, as our Talent Partner.

Talent is obviously a key ingredient in a company’s success and helping companies get the right team members at the right time is invaluable. Jordan is world-class at assessing those needs, understanding the specific nuances and culture of each organization, and helping drive outcomes that can change the trajectory of a company…not singlehandedly, but along with great entrepreneurs. He is a valuable weapon for an entrepreneur and I’m thrilled to have him on our side.

Aside from working closely with portfolio companies, Jordan will quarterback a talent program for Menlo focused on identifying a next-gen set of great entrepreneurs and executives that we’d like to back. The Menlo talent network consists of entrepreneurs and executives that have either founded or play critical roles in the next set of great companies. Menlo would, of course, like to back as many of those as possible like Uber and Machine Zone, but we also recognize that venture is the long game and that, by building and nurturing this network over time, a variety of opportunities to collaborate will arise. It’s much less about immediacy and more about building the talent network of the future. Jordan’s methodology to map out industry sectors, functions, and attributes which are correlated with potential outliers is off the charts.

Finally, Jordan is a terrific partner, and I’m glad to be partnering with him again. He is beloved by those who’ve worked with him. His ability to connect with people at both a personal and professional level is exceptional. He is a trusted advisor of a host of entrepreneurs who understand his advice is not of a transactional nature, such as filling a role, but one focused on the path that best suits them.

It’s a big day for Menlo Ventures. We’re excited to add Jordan to the firm and we’re excited to talk more openly about Fuel, now that the last critical pillar is filled with the best person to fill it. We’ve been busy over the last couple of years with Venky Ganesan and me joining as Managing Directors, raising a $250 million special opportunity fund, building out the Fuel program to serve entrepreneurs, and adding a talent like Jordan Ormont. Menlo Ventures is one of the oldest names on Sand Hill Road, but the team, energy, and ideas are all about the new day in venture capital that we couldn’t be more excited to embrace.

Welcome to Menlo Ventures, Jordan. It’s going to be a fun ride. We’ve already gotten better with you on board, and we know you’ll work hard everyday on behalf of entrepreneurs, always with your valuable, straightforward advice, objective perspective, and empathy for the entrepreneurial journey.