Sequoia posted a tribute to Valentine shortly afterward, calling him “certainly one of a era of leaders who solid Silicon Valley.”
A local of New York, Valentine majored in chemistry at Fordham College earlier than becoming a member of Raytheon in South California, then transferring north to the Bay Space to work at Fairchild Semiconductor, the place over time, Valentine started investing his personal small checks into expertise firms that he was assembly. Based on Sequoia Capital, he quickly attracted the eye of an early mutual fund group, Capital Group, which staked Valentine, permitting him to kind a $three million enterprise fund in 1974. Amongst his first bets from that pool of capital: Atari and Apple. He later led the agency into quite a few different high-flyers, together with Cisco Programs.
Valentine proceed to steer Sequoia till handing over the reins effectively earlier than retirement age to Doug Leone and Michael Moritz, although he continued attending companion conferences for an additional 10 years. The companions have mentioned they have been completely happy for his continued recommendation and steerage — not that they at all times agreed with him.
In 2017, in line with the agency’s give attention to succession and making certain easy transitions, companions Roelof Botha and Alfred Lin have been made U.S. co-heads of the agency working beneath Leone, who oversees the agency’s international operations with Neil Shen, the founder and managing companion of Sequoia Capital China. (Moritz stepped away for well being causes in 2012, although he has continued to stay actively concerned within the agency.)
Leone issued an announcement this afternoon about Valentine’s passing, writing: “We’re deeply saddened to share that Don Valentine handed away on October 25, 2019. Don’s life is woven into the material of Silicon Valley. He formed Sequoia and left his imprint not simply on these of us who had the privilege to work with him or the numerous philanthropic establishments that invested with Sequoia, but in addition on the founders and leaders of among the most important expertise firms of the later a part of the 20 th century. Our ideas are with Don’s spouse, Rachel, along with his household, and with all these impressed by his pioneering imaginative and prescient and indelible impression.”
Valentine selected the title Sequoia as a result of it “conveyed the longevity and energy of the tallest of redwoods,” in line with the agency’s tribute as we speak to Valentine. They word, too, the “humility of somebody who kept away from placing his personal title on our enterprise.”
Valentine is survived by his spouse; three kids; and 7 grandchildren, in line with Sequoia.
Valentine joined TechCrunch at a Disrupt occasion again in 2013. He appeared together with one other pioneer of the enterprise trade, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers cofounder Tom Perkins . Perkins handed away in June 2016 at age 84.