Entrepreneur and angel investor Marc Andreessen, who recently became a fully-fledged venture capitalist with the launch of his firm Andreessen Horowitz, has joined the board of directors at computer maker Hewlett Packard.
HP likes to stay connected with the venture and startup communities, so Andreessen isn’t the first venture capitalist on its board. Tom Perkins, co-founder of top venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, famously left the board in 2006 after learning that HP had authorized consultants to spy on its directors. (Perkins worked at HP before becoming a VC.)
Andreessen, meanwhile, first became famous for co-creating the early web browser Mosaic. He co-founded Netscape and build-your-own-social-network startup Ning, and also serves on the boards of eBay and Facebook. Perkins considered his perch on HP’s board to be valuable to his job as a VC because he was able to peek into the future of technology by staying close to developments at HP Labs. HP still frequently spins off startups from its research group and it has formal ties to venture firms that are interested in funding those spinoffs. So Andreessen will be in a good position to benefit his own startup investments, so long as he stays away from conflicts of interest.