DRAMA OVER AT ACCEL AND BENCHMARK... PETER FENTON JOINS BENCHMARK
I don't know if it's a sinking ship over at Accel, but these things always aren't good signs. Matt Marshall with the skinny:
Peter Fenton, a partner at Accel Partners has defected and is joining another big-name Silicon Valley venture capital firm, Benchmark Capital.
We're hearing the matter is so sensitive the Benchmark folks aren't taking calls about it. Benchmark has put out a release (download here), which hits the wires tomorrow. We put in a call to Accel's leading partner, Jim Breyer, but he was in a meeting offsite, so we couldn't run it by him.
Fenton, 33, led and managed Accel's investments in more than ten companies, including the successful acquisitions of JBoss and Wily Technology. "He is a superstar," said Kevin Harvey, general partner at Benchmark Capital, in a statement. It is not yet clear what will happen with Fenton's board seats.
These sorts of defections of partners at top-tier firms are unusual, in part because they are usually intimately tied in deep relationships within their respective firms. Internecine struggles are frowned upon by the large institutional investors, who entrust their money to the venture capital firms; they cherish stability. (full post)