We’re learning more about what Kleiner Perkins, a successful venture capital firm, looks for in a senior partner.
Ellen Pao, a former junior partner, is suing Kleiner for gender discrimination.
Managing partner Ted Schlein outlined what the firm looks for in junior and senior partners in his testimony on Monday.
Senior partners are more likely to becoming managing members of Kleiner’s investment funds and have signifcantly greater compensation.
For instance, as a junior partner, Ellen Pao made over $US500,000 in salary in 2011. Senior partners can make several million.
So what does it take to climb that ladder?
“At a more junior level, usually the person would have been in an operating role for 3 to 5 years, probably in tech, and usually have a tech background,” said Schlein.
For the firm’s more senior partners, Schlein stressed that they need depth and experience running a successful company in some capacity.
“At a more senior level, [partners would have] considerable operating experience, probably some deep domain experience in a particular area, and have been successful in their own right.”
Schlein said senior partners might have been “a founder or built their own company.”
He also said it’s not uncommon for junior partners to work at the firm for 3 to 4 years and move on.
Before joining Kleiner, Pao had several years of operating experience in business development, including a stint running corporate development for BEA, a company specializing in infrastructure software, which was later bought by Oracle. But it’s not clear she had deep domain experience, and she never founded her own company, so Schlein seems to be saying that she did not have the typical qualifications for a senior partner at the firm.
Pao is now the CEO of Reddit.
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