Kris Fredrickson is leaving his job as an investor at venture capital firm Benchmark to join hedge fund Coatue Management, reports Recode’s Theodore Schleifer.
Fredrickson’s move comes a few months after a bitter and public feud erupted between Benchmark and Travis Kalanick, the embattled cofounder of Uber, which is one of Benchmark’s largest investments. Benchmark has sued Kalanick.
Fredrickson’s name was dragged into the mess by another Uber investor who accused him of placing Benchmark’s interests ahead of Uber’s. A Kalanick ally and investor in Uber, Shervin Pishevar, accused Fredrickson of poaching Uber’s head of finance Gautam Gupta to join another company where Fredrickson had a financial interest.
Benchmark confirmed Fredrickson’s move in a tweet, wished him well, and said Benchmark will continue to work with him as he joins the hedge fund.
According ton one person close to the situation, Frederickson’s move was not related to the Benchmark-Uber drama. Fredrickson was in negotiations for the new job, which is a promotion, long before Benchmark filed the suit, a person close to the situation told Business Insider. And his role at Benchmark was “principal” which is often a 1-2 year stepping stone to other things, this person said.
One former Uber executive told Business Insider that this lawsuit will have big long-term consequences for Benchmark making other entrepreneurs distrust the VC firm and not want to do business with its investors, particularly startup founders that came from Uber.
However, given that Benchmark is considered a prestigious VC in the Valley, other entrepreneurs we talked to said that this lawsuit won’t be much of a consideration and won’t stop startups from working with the firm.
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