Kleiner Perkins hires Sun Microsystems chief researcher

John Gage will join a former colleague Bill Joy as partner at the renowned Silicon Valley venture firm, after spending approximately 25 years at global software, systems, services, and microelectronics company Sun Microsystems.

Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has made its latest in a string of high profile hires with the appointment of John Gage as partner.

Gage was one of the earliest employees of Sun Microsystems, founded in 1982, and was most recently the company’s chief researcher and vice president of the science office. In that position, he was responsible for Sun’s relationships with scientific and technical organisations and research institutions as well as for public policy and governmental relations.

John Gage

While at Sun, Gage also founded NetDay, a volunteer project to provide internet connectivity to schools, libraries and clinics worldwide.

In his new role, Gage will provide counsel to the Silicon Valley venture firm’s network of entrepreneurs, scientists, academics and government leaders.

Gage will rejoin former colleague and Sun co-founder Bill Joy, who joined Kleiner Perkins in 2005, two years after resigning as Sun’s chief scientist.

High profile hires made by Kleiner Perkins in the last year include: co-director of Goldman Sachs alternative energy investments Ben Kortlang, chief creative officer of Electronic Arts Bing Gordon and former US Vice President Al Gore.

The venture firm has also closed a number of funds of late including the $700 million (€455 million) early stage venture fund KPCB XIII and a $500 million green growth fund investing in growth stage companies focussing on mass market solutions to the world’s climate crisis. Kleiner Perkins also manages the recently launched $100 million “iFund”, which backs companies developing applications and services for the Apple iPhone and iPod touch platforms.