Don't judge Kleiner Perkins by its crackpot co-founderJanuary 27, 2014: 12:03 PM ET
Venture capital firm rightly disavows co-founder comments.
FORTUNE -- As you've almost certainly heard by now, onetime venture capitalist Tom Perkins penned an inane letter to The Wall Street Journal, in which he compared recent "demonization" of America's wealthiest individuals to Nazi Germany's war on Jews. And, to drive the point home, he added: "Kristallnacht was unthinkable in 1930; is its descendent 'progressive' radicalism unthinkable now?"
Just goes to show that any crackpot can get his paranoid delusions published in a reputable newspaper, so long as he once served on its publisher's board of directors.
For our purposes, however, a kudos to the firm Perkins co-founded, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, for its swift and unambiguous reaction. KPCB tweeted out the following on Saturday afternoon:
Tom Perkins has not been involved in KPCB in years. We were shocked by his views expressed today in the WSJ and do not agree.
— Kleiner Perkins (@kpcb) January 25, 2014
Perkins doubled down on his sentiments in a subsequent email exchange with Bloomberg, saying of his former firm's response: "Our philosophies and strategies have drifted so far apart that now my name means little on the door."
KPCB has been subject of numerous media brickbats over the past few years (including some from yours truly), for issues related to both its investment strategy and firm management. Depending on your perspective, most of it either has been deserved or most of it has been overkill by a media that likes to tear down those it first builds up. But no matter your general feelings toward KPCB, the firm in no way deserves to be tarred with the spuriousness sentiments of its co-founder. Hopefully it will not be.
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