Dear SaaStr: What Do VCs Do When They Leave Their Position?

It depends on if they own the place.

A true “Managing General Partner” usually doesn’t so much leave as wind down, step down, slowly retire, etc.

Why not? Because VC funds typically last 13–14 years each, and often 20 years to full distribution. And a Managing General Partner will often be running 2–5 of these at the same time. So they often are still making a ton of money, and are somewhat involved, for many years after “leaving”.

Now, the more junior you are, and the less of a true Managing General Partner you are, the less it is true. And the more it’s just a job.

Where do they go?

  • To another VC firm (pretty common)
  • To work at a portfolio company
  • To start their own company
  • To a corporate VC fund

Are some of the most common landing spots.

Now sometimes this works out really well.  And sometimes, great folks just don’t want to be VCs anymore.

Dev Ittycheria, CEO of MongoDB, was a successful VC Managing Director and more.  But it wasn’t enough to just “invest”.  He’d been President at BMC Software before, and wanted to be a CEO of a world changer.  He joined Mongo as CEO.

That worked out well.

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