Andreessen Horowitz has a new secret weapon as it tries to edge out rivals for late-stage deals: Intel’s former CEO

  • Andreessen Horowitz has hired former Intel CEO Bob Swan to invest in growth startups.
  • He brings wisdom from overseeing major acquisitions and running publicly traded companies.
  • Swan could give the firm an edge as it seeks to continue a trend of record returns.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Andreessen Horowitz has added Bob Swan, the financial sage and former chief executive of Intel, as an operating partner to shepherd its biggest companies to the public markets.

Swan is a “perfect fit” for the firm, said David George, a general partner who oversees the growth funds. He’s seen what it takes to build large tech companies, take them to new markets, and hire executive talent. “All the later things that our growth companies experience at scale — Bob’s lived them across all our major focus areas,” George said.

Swan told Insider that he’s walked “in the shoes of an entrepreneur.” And his work on the firm’s growth team will include finding deals, serving on boards, and guiding founders so that they may avoid the mistakes others make.

We asked Swan why he went to work at Andreessen Horowitz out of all the firms lining Sand Hill Road. He named the firm’s partners, the respect they show for entrepreneurs, and its culture of playing to win as the biggest draws.

“I honestly think they’re the best,” he said.

In January, Intel’s board abruptly removed Swan from the top job after the semiconductor company fell further behind rivals in creating the most advanced chips, and a high-profile investor called for an executive shakeup.

Swan’s hire at one of the most sought after venture firms in the valley is also a big win for Andreessen Horowitz. The firm has been growing its war chest to invest in bigger companies that are closer to making an exit. It was only three years ago that Andreessen Horowitz raised its first growth fund, meaning it’s earmarked for later-stage investments, and then closed another during the pandemic — $7.9 billion in total.

Andreessen Horowitz is having its best year ever with a parade of companies going public, notching huge returns for the partners who write checks and their investors, known as limited partners. And the firm is looking to continue the trend with at least six new unicorns in its portfolio in the first half of the year, according to data from Crunchbase

Before his turn as CEO, Swan was Intel’s chief financial officer. The company brought him in after he worked nine years at eBay, rising to the rank of financial chief and helping oversee the spinoff of PayPal into a separate company. That’s also where he met Marc Andreessen, who was on the eBay board and bought a piece of Skype from eBay.

Are you a venture capital insider with insight to share? Contact Melia Russell by email at [email protected] or on Signal at (603) 913-3085. Open DMs on Twitter @meliarobin.

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