Google Ventures CEO Bill Maris quits

Google Ventures CEO Bill Maris quits

Bill Maris, the founder and chief of Google Ventures (or GV), is leaving the firm and its parent, Alphabet.

Maris would be the third high-ranking executive to depart from the Alphabet units outside of the main Google search business in recent months, as the tech giant continues to stumble through the transition into its new corporate structure.

Sources say Maris is being replaced by David Krane, a managing partner for the venture arm and one of the earliest corporate communications managers at Google.

A representative from GV did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Maris did not reply to an email seeking comment.

 Maris, an early web entrepreneur, founded Google’s venture capital arm in 2009 and quickly built it into a formidable presence in Silicon Valley. In 2015, the firm managed upwards of $2.4 billion in capital.

Although GV cut back on investments in Europe and with early stage companies, the firm is still willing to cut checks. For the first six months of this year, it passed Intel Capital as the most active corporate venture arm, according to CB Insights.

Under Maris, GV has had some high-profile misses — most notably, the disastrous app Secret. But those were outweighed by early bets in gigantic startups like Uber, Nest, Slack and Jet.com, which just went to Walmart for $3 billion.

 Lately, GV has upped its investment in startups working on health and biotech, a strong interest of Maris’s.

While the firm always cited its arms-length detachment from the Google mothership, the firm, and Maris in particular, was close to Google co-founder and chieftain Larry Page and co-founder Sergey Brin.

That proximity has not been without its strife.

In 2013, Google launched another investment arm, Google Capital, which backed later-stage companies, but which some saw as competition to Maris and GV. And Google has recently increased its own investments, directly off its balance sheet, pouring money into companies that compete with GV investments.

Venture capitalists inside other corporate investment arms have also struggled for independence and sure footing.

Page created the Alphabet structure, in part, to retain key talented deputies and give them more autonomy at the nascent moonshots, or “Other Bets” companies.

Yet some sources suggest that the cost-cutting that has come with the reorg has rankled executives at these arms.

Since June, Page has lost three of those deputies: Tony Fadell, the Nest CEO; Chris Urmson, the CTO and former director of the self-driving car project; and now Maris.

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