When a former executive screws up in public, his ex-company usually doesn’t feel the need to go beyond a “he doesn’t work here anymore.” It takes some fairly radioactive behavior to elicit a comment like Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers gave today about co-founder Tom Perkins. KPCB was forced into some quick crisis communications after the Wall Street Journal published a letter to the editor from Perkins equating resentment of the wealthy with the persecution of Jews in Nazi Germany.
KPCB: “Tom Perkins has not been involved in KPCB in years. We were shocked by his views expressed today in the WSJ and do not agree.”
Somewhat inconveniently for KPCB, its website (as of tonight) highlights Perkins as one of its partners emeriti and says, “By continuing their relationship with KPCB long after leaving, they bring our portfolio companies the benefit of decades of deep experience.” It will be interesting to see if that text is still there in a couple weeks.