When Jess Lee was named general partner at Sequoia Capital, it was a seminal moment for Valley insiders.
Decade-after-decade Sequoia has remained a top the Silicon Valley heap, unlike any other firm. It’s managed to transfer power from one alpha-male to another alpha-male in a way few firms have in the history of Sand Hill Road.
And yet, until arguably this newer generation of partners started to come into their own, Sequoia wasn’t known for two things: Being particularly founder-friendly or particularly female-founder-friendly.
Lee— a bona fide superstar founder who built Polyvore to some $200 million— was hired in the aftermath of Mike Moritz saying they didn’t want to “lower [their] standards” in hiring a woman, and fellow Sequoia partner Alfred Lin saying categorically on a Pando stage, “Yes, we have a gender problem.”
That’s a lot to walk into...