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Tech VC firm shuffles staff, launches fund

Several partners at Silicon Valley's Kleiner Perkins scale back their roles as the venture capital firm launches a $400 million tech fund.

At Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, several partners have scaled back their roles as the venture capital firm launches a $400 million technology fund.

In a statement issued late Thursday, the Silicon Valley company sought to dispel published rumors that several partners, most notably former Sun Microsystems executive Vinod Khosla, were leaving the firm. The venture capital company also gave details about its most recent investment fund.

Based on the personnel restructuring, the new fund, dubbed Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers XI, will be overseen by six managing partners and six partners. Brook Byers, John Doerr, Joe Lacob, Ray Lane, Ted Schlein and Russ Siegelman will serve as the fund's managing partners, with Khosla, Kevin Compton, John Denniston, Juliet Flint, William Hearst and Doug Mackenzie performing as partners. Kleiner said that Compton, Hearst, Khosla and Mackenzie will work exclusively with the new initiative, while also hoping to "spend more time with family and on personal causes."

Kleiner said the nascent fund's first investment will be in a start-up in the electronics field.

It also said Khosla will join the company's board of directors. A well known figure in the Silicon Valley community, Khosla was a co-founder and the first CEO of computer maker Sun.

The firm also cleared up the role being played by former Excite@Home Chairman Tom Jermoluk. Jermoluk previously served as a partner at Kleiner, but left the firm last year to return to an "operating role." Kleiner said Jermoluk would continue to serve on the boards of several companies backed by its investment portfolios.

Kleiner, which was founded in 1972 and has funded companies such as Compaq Computer, Sun and Amazon.com, is considered an IT industry investment stalwart. Most recently the company has garnered attention for retaining Internet search giant and potential IPO candidate Google in its portfolio. Last November, one of the firm's creators, Eugene Kleiner, died at the age of 80.