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Excite@Home's Jermoluk joins Kleiner Perkins

Former Excite@Home chief executive Tom Jermoluk has become the newest general partner at prominent venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Former Excite@Home chief executive Tom Jermoluk has joined prominent venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

Tom Jermoluk Jermoluk, 43, has become the newest general partner at Kleiner Perkins, one of Silicon Valley's best-known venture capital firms. Jermoluk joined Kleiner last week, not long before he announced he would step down as chairman of Excite@Home, a leading high-speed Internet access provider.

Kleiner Perkins was an early investor in both Excite and @Home Network before the two companies merged. By joining the firm, Jermoluk continues a long and cozy relationship with Netscape co-founder Jim Clark and several of Kleiner's most senior partners.

Clark and Jermoluk date back to their days at Silicon Graphics and sat together on the board of directors at Healtheon/WebMD. The two later formed Helix Ventures in 1998 and through that investment arm have funded network management firm SmartPipes, online photo site Shutterfly, financial consulting firm MyCFO and a Web site for teenage girls, Kibu.

Jermoluk has worked closely with Kleiner partners John Doerr, Will Hearst and Vinod Khosla on the Excite@Home board of directors. Together with Clark, a major investor in many of Kleiner Perkins' technology VC funds, the two encouraged Kleiner Perkins to back several of their Helix Ventures start-ups. Jermoluk also has invested on an individual basis in some Kleiner technology funds.

"I'll be formalizing the relationship that has existed for quite a while," Jermoluk said. "Kleiner Perkins joined myself and Jim Clark in investing in SmartPipes, MyCFO and Kibu, so it was a natural thing."

Jim Clark Jermoluk said he will retain his status as a board member of Excite@Home and the four Helix investments, though all his new investments will be as a Kleiner partner. As a former engineer, Jermoluk expects to predominantly fund technology companies.

"I think of myself in the technology field and the infrastructure deals," Jermoluk said.

Kleiner Perkins is best known for its investments in Internet giants America Online, Netscape Communications and Amazon.com, among many others. Jermoluk served as CEO of Excite@Home from 1996 until handing over the reins to George Bell in January.