Austin Reorganizes Team, Demotes Two

When Austin Ventures reduced the size of its eighth fund last May, it told investors that more changes would soon come down the pike. Well, it wasn’t soon, but there certainly have been some changes.

Last quarter, Austin Ventures altered its general partnership by demoting two general partners to the position of venture partner. Another general partner is currently deciding whether or not to engage in such a transition.

“It’s overstating things to say that we restructured,” explains John Thornton, a general partner with Austin Ventures. “This was really a matter of division of labor, and transitioning some people out of fund and firm management so they can concentrate on investing.”

The two affected partners are Rob Adams and Stephen Strauss. Adams was originally hired in 1999 to launch a semi-independent incubator program named AV Labs, but was brought into the larger fold last summer when AV Labs was moved in-house. He has previously been with TL Ventures.

Strauss originally joined Austin Ventures as a Kauffman Fellow in 1996, but quickly climbed the VC ladder. He was first promoted to principal, and then was named a general partner focused on semiconductors in January 2000.

Promoted from principal to general partner at the same time as Strauss, Ross Cockrell is currently weighing his future options. Thornton says it’s possible that he’ll to the firm return in a venture partner role. In the meantime, his name and biography have been removed from the Austin Ventures Web site.