Ex-Google board member Michael Moritz cuts Sequoia involvement due to ‘incurable disease’

Michael Moritz, a former member of Google’s Board of Directors, announced today that he is stepping down from his managing partner post at venture firm Sequoia Capital due to an incurable disease.

He will now become a chairman at the top-tier firm that has backed many startups-turned-goldmines in the last 20 years, including Google, PayPal, and Yahoo. The title change will curtail daily activity involvement so Moritz can focus on living a full life while beating the odds.

The letter Moritz sent to limited partners this morning is below (via TechCrunch):

  • Dear …,
  • We have always tried to be straightforward with you and, in that spirt, I need to share something. Unfortunately, I have been diagnosed with a rare medical condition which can be managed but is incurable. I’ve been told that in the next five to ten years the quality of my life is quite likely to decline. Right now I feel fitter than ever and I hope that I’ll be one of the lucky ones who can live a full life and defy the statisticians. But there is no way of predicting this with certainty and thus for me, life has assumed a different meaning and I am making some adjustments.
  • I am going to extract myself from the daily management of Sequoia Capital, a task that has consumed a large part of my time for the past sixteen years. I will become Chairman of Sequoia Capital and will be deeply involved with nurturing the fresh investments, ideas and relationships that can be of significant long-term benefit for all of us. I will also work very closely with some of our younger and newer members, will continue my role as Managing Member of existing funds and maintain all my current company responsibilities. I will use twelve to fourteen weeks – sprinkled throughout the course of each year – for various pursuits, diversions and trivial indulgences.
  • Nothing about this should cause much of a change because everything that has been achieved at Sequoia Capital has resulted from the teamwork and contribution of many people. Our overall business is in the best shape it has ever been and we are better positioned than at any time in our forty year history. Doug Leone will assume full responsibility for coordinating the business we have gradually developed over the past couple of decades and almost everything else remains entirely the same.
  • Thanks for your support,
  • Michael Moritz