John Doerr
Doerr at Techcrunch Disrupt 2013, in San Francisco
Louis John Doerr

(1951-06-29) June 29, 1951 (age 72)
EducationRice University (BS, MEng)
Harvard University (MBA)
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseAnn Howland

L. John Doerr (born June 29, 1951) is an American investor and venture capitalist at Kleiner Perkins in Menlo Park, California. In February 2009, Doerr was appointed a member of the President's Economic Recovery Advisory Board to provide the President and his administration with advice and counsel in trying to fix America's economic downturn.[1] Forbes ranked Doerr as the 40th richest person in tech in 2017[2] and, as of 1 August, 2023, as the 146th richest person in the world, with a net worth of US$ 11.9 billion.[3] Doerr is the author of Measure What Matters, a book about goal-setting, and Speed & Scale: An Action Plan for Solving Our Climate Crisis Now.[4][5]

In 2022, John and his wife Ann collaborated with Stanford University to launch its first new school in about 70 years: Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.[6]

Early life

Doerr was born in St. Louis, Missouri. One of five siblings, Doerr graduated from Chaminade College Preparatory School in St. Louis. Doerr obtained a B.S. and an M.E.E. degree in electrical engineering from Rice University and an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1976.[7]


Doerr joined Intel Corporation in 1974 just as the firm was developing the 8080 8-bit microprocessor. He eventually became one of Intel's most successful salespeople. He also holds several patents for memory devices.[8][9] In 1980, Doerr was offered a job with Kleiner Perkins. Intel president Andrew Grove told him, "John, venture capital, that's not a real job. It's like being a real estate agent."[10]

He joined Kleiner Perkins that year, and since then has directed the distribution of venture capital funding to technology companies including Compaq, Netscape, Symantec, Sun Microsystems,,, Intuit, Macromedia, and Google.[11]

Doerr has backed entrepreneurs, including Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt of Google; Jeff Bezos of; and Scott Cook and Bill Campbell of Intuit.[citation needed]

Venture funding

Doerr co-founded and serves on the board of the New Schools Venture Fund, an education reform and charter public schools fund, and TechNet, a policy network of high-tech CEOs advocating education and litigation reform, and policies for the innovation economy. Doerr co-chaired California's Proposition 39 which lowered the threshold to approved school bonds, and Proposition 71 which created $3 billion in funding for California research into stem cell therapies. He serves on the board of Bono's ONE campaign to fight global poverty, particularly disease in Africa. His success in venture capital has garnered national attention; he has been listed on Forbes magazine's exclusive "Midas List" and is widely regarded as one of the top technology venture capitalists in the world.[12]

Doerr advocates innovation in clean energy technologies to combat climate change, and has written and testified on the topic. In a 2007 TED conference, he cited his daughter's remark, "your generation created this problem, you better fix it", as a call to fight global warming.[13]

In 2008 he announced with Steve Jobs the Kleiner Perkins $100 million iFund, declaring the iPhone "more important than the personal computer" because "it knows who you are" and "where you are." In April 2010, he along with other iFund members announced an increase in iFund's value by another $100 million, making iFund the world's biggest investment pool in the cell phone application industry.[14]

He currently serves on the boards of Google, Watershed, Amyris Biotech, Tradesy, ASAPP, and Zynga. Doerr led Kleiner Perkins's $150 million investment in Twitter in 2012.[15][16][17]

In 2013, he invested in DreamBox,[18][19] which has been acquired by Charter School Growth Fund. He had also funded the initial investments in Bloom Energy Inc. Doerr is a major backer of the education company Remind.[20]

In 2016, Doerr stepped down from his role leading Kleiner Perkins, ceding leadership to Ted Schlein.[3]

Doerr mentored Ellen Pao when she first joined Kleiner Perkins.[21] Before changing his mind in 2012, he was known for challenging those who gave her negative performance reviews.[22]

Doerr serves on the board of the Obama Foundation and[23][24]

Economic Recovery Advisory Board

In February 2009, Doerr was appointed as a member of the USA Economic Recovery Advisory Board by President Barack Obama to provide the President and his administration with advice and counsel in fixing America's economic downturn.[25]

Personal life

Doerr is married to Ann Howland Doerr. They live in Woodside, California, with their two children.[26]

In August 2010, they signed the Giving Pledge, a campaign set up by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and Warren Buffett to get ultra-high-net-worth individuals to donate their fortunes to charitable causes within their lifetime.[27][28]

In 1997, Doerr was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Rice University for his accomplishments in business.[29] In 2009, Doerr was named a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.[30][31][32] In 2010, Doerr was inducted into the California Hall of Fame. In 2019, Doerr received the Golden Plate Award of the American Academy of Achievement.[33][34]

He is also member of the Global Advisory Board of Khan Academy.[35]

On May 4, 2022, Stanford University announced Ann and John Doerr's donation of $1.1 billion to establish the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability.[36][37] The gift is the second largest to an academic institution—the first being Michael Bloomberg's $1.8 billion gift to Johns Hopkins University. It is the largest gift to Stanford in the university's history.[38]


Doerr is a supporter of the Democratic Party and has hosted fundraisers for the party on several occasions.[39] John Doerr was also listed as one of the founders of in April 2013.[citation needed] is a lobbying group primarily funded by Mark Zuckerberg that aims at lobbying for immigration reform and improvements in education.


  1. ^ "Los Angeles Times article Who's Who on new economic advisory board". Los Angeles Times. February 6, 2009. Retrieved February 5, 2009.
  2. ^ "The Richest People in Tech 2017". Forbes. Retrieved April 8, 2019.
  3. ^ a b "Forbes: John Doerr". Forbes. Archived from the original on August 2, 2023. Retrieved February 2, 2024.
  4. ^ "WHEN JOHN DOERR BROUGHT A 'GIFT' TO GOOGLE'S FOUNDERS". WIRED. April 24, 2018. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  5. ^ "Speed & Scale".
  6. ^ Gelles, David (May 4, 2022). "Stanford Gets $1.1 Billion for New Climate School From John Doerr". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved August 1, 2022.
  7. ^ "John Doerr, MBA 1976". Harvard Business School. January 1, 2008. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  8. ^ A US 4096582 A, Paul T. Bailey; L. John Doerr & Robert M. Sandfort, "Field-accessed magnetic bubble mutually exclusive circuits with common elements", issued 1978-06-20 
  9. ^ A US 3879716 A, Paul T. Bailey & L. John Doerr, "Mutually exclusive magnetic bubble propagation circuits with discrete elements", issued 1975-04-22 
  10. ^ John Doerr, 2018, Measuring What Matters. New York, Portfolio/ Penguin. ISBN 9780525536222 Quote at p.33.
  11. ^ Kaplan, Jerry (1996) [first published by Houghton Mifflin Company 1994]. Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure. Bridgewater, New Jersey, U.S.: Penguin Books. pp. 301–02. ISBN 0-7351-0141-8. (hc.); (pbk.). The careful reader will notice that I was not present for several scenes in the latter part of the book. To reconstruct these episodes, I relied on the taped recollections of as many of the participants as possible. I am deeply indebted to several people – especially Robert Carr, Bill Campbell, Randy Komisar, and John Doerr – who gave freely of their time to describe these scenes.
  12. ^ Loizos, Connie (July 30, 2015). "KPCB's John Doerr is coming to Disrupt SF". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 4, 2015.
  13. ^ "John Doerr sees salvation and profit in greentech". TED.
  14. ^ "John Doerr: The Next Big Thing". TechCrunch. April 6, 2010. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  15. ^ "Kleiner Perkins investment in Twitter". Retrieved July 11, 2012.
  16. ^ Hagan, Joe (October 2, 2011). "Tweet Science". New York Magazine. Retrieved October 9, 2011.
  17. ^ "About Us – Tradesy". Retrieved May 7, 2019.
  18. ^ Wan, Tony (December 17, 2013). "Netflix' Reed Hastings Leads $14.5M Series A1 for DreamBox". edSurge. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  19. ^ Cook, John (December 17, 2013). "Netflix CEO Reed Hastings, VC John Doerr invest $14.5M in DreamBox Learning". Geekwire. Retrieved March 26, 2014.
  20. ^ Levy, Ari (August 23, 2016). "Ed-tech start-ups don't make money—this one's hoping to be the exception". CNBC. Retrieved February 12, 2021.
  21. ^ Kulwin, Noah (March 23, 2015). "A who's who of the Kleiner Perkins-Ellen Pao trial". Recode. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  22. ^ Helen Huet (March 4, 2015). "Kleiner Perkins's John Doerr And Ellen Pao: A Mentorship Sours". Forbes. Retrieved March 6, 2015. Mr. Schlein and all the other digital partners felt that way, except me. I saw it differently.
  23. ^ "The Barack Obama Foundation Announces New Additions to the Board of Directors".
  24. ^ "Join the fight against extreme poverty". ONE. September 28, 2012. Retrieved April 28, 2018.
  25. ^ "Obama appoints John Doerr to economic advisory board". VentureBeat. February 6, 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2017.
  26. ^ Siegler, MG (May 24, 2010). "John Doerr to Charlie Rose: I use my iPad in church". Tech Crunch. Retrieved October 2, 2015.
  27. ^ "The Giving Pledge – Pledge List". The Giving Pledge. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  28. ^ "John Doerr – Tech Philanthropists". Inside Philanthropy. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  29. ^ "Association of Rice Alumni". Rice Alumni. Retrieved April 29, 2015.
  30. ^ "American Academy Announces 2009 Class of Fellows and Foreign Honorary Members". American Academy of Arts & Sciences. April 20, 2009. Archived from the original on July 28, 2012. Retrieved May 1, 2009.
  31. ^ "[American Academy of Arts & Sciences] NEWLY ELECTED MEMBERS, APRIL 2009" (PDF). American Academy of Arts & Sciences. p. 3. Archived from the original (PDF) on August 8, 2013. Retrieved May 1, 2009. (see also the 4th entry on page 10 of the AAAS New members list for April 2009 sorted by field Archived May 10, 2013, at the Wayback Machine)
  32. ^ "Rice Professor Naomi Halas, alums John Doerr and Karen Davis elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences". Rice University. April 23, 2009. Archived from the original on August 11, 2020. Retrieved April 25, 2013.
  33. ^ "Golden Plate Awardees of the American Academy of Achievement". American Academy of Achievement.
  34. ^ "2019 Summit Highlights Photo: Summit Co-Host Stefano Pessina, CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, presents the Golden Plate Award to investor and famed venture capitalist John Doerr at the Banquet of the Golden Plate gala ceremonies at the St. Regis Hotel". American Academy of Achievement.
  35. ^ "Khan Academy Annual Report". Retrieved November 21, 2021.
  36. ^ Adams, Amy; Cole, Anneke (May 4, 2022). "Introducing the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability" (Press release). Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  37. ^ Knox, Liam (May 5, 2022). "Stanford Receives $1.1 Billion Gift for Sustainability School". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  38. ^ Gelles, David (May 4, 2022). "Stanford Gets $1.1 Billion for New Climate School From John Doerr". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved May 7, 2022.
  39. ^ Marinucci, Caria (October 7, 2014). "Dems, GOP holding mega-fundraisers on same street in Woodside". SF Gate. Retrieved October 4, 2015.