KP Beefs Up Roster With Colin Powell

It’s becoming quite a think tank over at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The venture firm added more star power to its lineup when it announced last week that former Secretary of State Colin Powell has become a strategic limited partner in the firm. He will not be involved in day-to-day management activities at the firm, but he will help advise the firm’s portfolio companies.

In addition, Powell – who is considered tech savvy – will help the firm and its portfolio companies access tech trends in such hot markets as China and India.

Kleiner Perkins has had a number of high profile appointments lately. The firm has this year lured to its ranks Sun Microsystems co-founder Bill Joy; former Guidant executive Dana Mead, and Randy Komisar who has served as a “virtual CEO” for various tech companies.

Powell, 68, was the 65th Secretary of State. He served in the military for 35 years, and became a four-star general. His last assignment, from October 1989 to September 1993, was as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In a press release, Powell said he’s known Kleiner Perkins’ entrepreneurs and partners for years. Powell’s son Michael recently completed a four-year tenure as head of the Federal Communications Commission.

Powell told SiliconValley.com that he wanted to be on the leading edge of technology developments in America and in the world, “which will not only benefit America, but all of human kind.”

Email Alastair.Goldfisher@thomson.com