The man who fired Ellen Pao just left Kleiner Perkins

Matt Murphy has resigned from his position as partner at famed VC firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.

Murphy was the partner who fired Ellen Pao, according to Re/Code. Pao recently lost her discrimination lawsuit against the firm.

Murphy’s retirement exacerbates the firm’s problem of finding a suitable successor to John Doerr, who is 63 years old and widely considered to be the leading force at the firm. Several VCs recently told us that they think Doerr’s power and lack of clear successor could become problems for Kleiner.

Murphy told the WSJ that he will most likely find a new position at a “smaller venture capital firm.” He said the decision was made earlier this year and he had already told the firm last month during the sex-discrimination trial that he would be stepping down.

“I wanted a bit of change. It’s entirely about me and wanting to experience something different in the world of venture,” Murphy told the WSJ.

Murphy is 48. He joined Kleiner Perkins in 1999 and was one of the firm’s star investors for over a decade. He led the iFund, a portfolio that mainly invested in iPhone apps, and was responsible for investing in some of the $US1 billion startups, including AppDynamics and

But Murphy may be most remembered for the person directly linked to the firing of Pao at Kleiner Perkins. During the trial, he said he fired Pao because “he thought she didn’t work well with other team members,” according to the WSJ.

With Murphy’s departure, Kleiner Perkins is left with 7 senior investors, the WSJ said.

“I felt it was time for me to find my next chapter as part of a smaller partnership,” Murphy said.

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