In-Q-Tel CEO quits after 4 months

Amit Yoran quit In-Q-Tel after a little more than four months in the top spot, leaving the CIA’s venture arm to be with his family.

“Everyone said he was doing great,” says Gilman Louie, the previous CEO of In-Q-Tel. “But it’s a grueling job.”

Louie left In-Q-Tel at the end of last year to partner with New Enterprise Associates veteran Stewart Alsop to form a new venture firm. Louie was the head of In-Q-Tel from its inception in 1999 through the end of last year. He came to the firm after selling gaming startup Spectrum HoloByte to Hasbro in 1998.

Louie says the position requires a lot of traveling, something that may have been keeping the 35-year-old Yoran from his three children. “I know firsthand how hard it is to have that job with small children,” Louie says.

In-Q-Tel expects to announce an interim replacement this week and then conduct a search for a new CEO.

Yoran was heralded as a boon for In-Q-Tel, as he brought a wealth of digital security experience. He founded Riptech, a managed security service startup that sold to Symantec in 2002 for $145 million. He then joined the Department of Homeland Security, where he served as chief of the National Cyber Security Division.

In-Q-Tel invests nationwide in companies that develop intelligence-gathering or national security applications. The firm typically co-invests in startups alongside traditional venture funds.

Yoran’s appointment was expected to coincide with the nonprofit ramping up its deal activity and its annual budget to more than $50 million, up from about $35 million several years ago, according to The Washington Post.

Among the steps he had taken, Yoran had hired Mark Frantz as managing general partner from Carlyle Venture Partners.

Startups in In-Q-Tel’s portfolio expect operations to continue unfettered. “He hadn’t been there long enough to make an impact,” says Rob Markovich, founder of Wi-Fi intrusion protection startup Network Chemistry. Markovich expects the investment organization to pony up for his startup’s upcoming second round of venture financing without a hitch.

In-Q-Tel offers monthly technology showcases that highlight its startups’ technology and holds an annual conference for all of its startups to pitch the CIA and other intelligence gathering organizations.