Venture Panel: Building a Top Tier Management Team



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    Please register at the door.

    Venture capital partners add value to their portfolio companies by introducing them to talented executives. This panel will highlight the executive recruiting process inside a venture capital firm, how they identify and hire CEOs, how they work with portfolio CEOs to develop management teams and how potential candidates can network with venture capitalists in their career networking efforts.

    Some of the topics the panel will explore:

    • What are the components of building great management teams in start ups?
    • What do great management teams look like? What are the key ingredients in great management teams?
    • How do venture capital firms work with their portfolio companies to attract great management talent?
    • What resources do venture capital firms employ to build management teams?
    • What do venture capitalists look for in founder CEOs? When is the right time to stay with the entrepreneur or bring in a professional CEO?
    • What characteristics do you look for in CEOs?
    • What are the most critical hires when building a senior management team? Why?


    Moderator: Ed Zschau, Founder and Principal Inductus Associates
    Gordon Ritter, General Partner, Emergence Capital

    Vab Goel, General Partner, Norwest Venture Partners

    Joe Dobrenski, Recruiting Partner, Sequoia Capital

    Tim McAdam , General Partner, Trinity Ventures


    Panelists Bios


    Gordon Ritter

    Gordon is an experienced entrepreneur and operating executive. Prior to founding Emergence, he was co-Founder and President of Software As Service, a web services platform company he formed with Marc Benioff, the Chairman and CEO of Software as Service is the origin of the's sForce development platform.

    Prior to forming Software As Service, Gordon was Vice President of the $3-billion IBM Global Small Business division. Gordon's team was responsible for partnerships with dozens of technology-enabled service companies as part of IBM's On Demand computing strategy. He led IBM's launch partnership with, among others. Prior to IBM, Gordon was co-Founder and President of Whistle Communications, a pioneering Internet appliance and services platform for small and medium-sized businesses. Whistle was acquired by IBM in 1999 and was venture-backed by IVP and Mayfield.

    Before Whistle, Gordon was co-Founder and President of Tribe Communications, a networking infrastructure company. Tribe pioneered WebManage™, acclaimed as the first HTML-based network management software. Tribe was acquired by Zoom Telephonics in 1996. Before Tribe, Gordon was a VP of Capital Markets at CSFB in New York, where he headed the Collateralized Mortgage Obligation (CMO) group. Gordon has a B.A. in Economics from Princeton University.

    Vab Goel

    Vab joined Norwest Venture Partners in 2000 and focuses on emerging communications technologies. Vab’s investments include C2C Pte. Ltd., LifeSize Communications (formerly KMV Technologies), Virtela Communications, and Winphoria Networks (acquired by Motorola). He serves on the board of LifeSize Communications and Virtela Communications. Before joining NVP, Vab served Qwest as vice president of emerging technologies, a group he founded. In that position, he was responsible for identifying new networking technologies. He also fostered strategic relationships with start-up companies such as Qtera, Corvis, Sonus Networks, Redback Networks, Siara Systems, Juniper Networks, and Extreme Networks. Earlier, as vice president of IP network engineering and advanced technology, he created and implemented the “Qwest IP Network and Data Center Strategy”, designed to enable seamless services with open standards and a strong customer focus.

    Prior to joining Qwest, Vab worked at Sprint, where he was a principal architect for the Sprint Internet backbone and contributed to the company’s IP and optical network strategy. He created the optical Network Strategy which drove the worlds first IP over Sonet and the first IP over DWDM network. He played a key role in the Global One IP network, a venture partnership among France Telecom, Sprint, and Deutsche Telecom.

    Vab was named one of the “Top 25 Unsung Hero's on the Net” by Interactive Week in 1999.

    Joe Dobrenski

    Joe Dobrenski is responsible for strategies and programs supporting human capital development for Sequoia Capital's network of portfolio companies. He came to Sequoia Capital from Russell Reynolds Associates where he led the firm's executive recruiting practice in the hardware and electronics market sector. Earlier in his career, Joe worked for Black & Decker Corporation and Price Waterhouse Management Consulting Services in roles involving information technology, strategy and operations. Joe has a B.S. degree in operations research from Cornell University.

    Tim McAdam

    Tim McAdam joined Trinity in 2000 and has been in the venture capital industry for over thirteen years. Prior to joining Trinity, Tim worked as a vice president at GTCR in Chicago, where he led investments in the information technology services, communications, logistics and outsourced business services industries. Tim began his venture capital career at TA Associates in Boston as an Associate focusing on application software.


    Event Logistics


    Gray Cary
    2000 University Avenue
    East Palo Alto, CA
    Tel: 650.833.2000


    6:30pm - 7:00pm Registration
    7:00pm - 8:30pm Program

    $25.00 SDForum Members
    $40 Non-members

    *at the door add $10 to member and non-member prices

    Pre-registration is now unavailable.
    Please register at the door.