SANTA CLARA, Calif. – After a brief stint as a general partner at New York-based Venrock Associates, Mark Bailey returned to Silicon Valley this summer to lead Healtheon Corp.’s business development program.
Mr. Bailey, who has shifted back and forth between the venture capital and corporate worlds throughout his 13-year private-equity career, will lead Healtheon’s efforts to secure partnerships, alliances and mergers and acquisitions.
Healtheon’s core business is placing medical data and health-care information on the Internet using virtually private networks. The goal is to provide streamlined information sharing among doctors, pharmacies and insurance companies, while adhering to patient privacy standards.
Mr. Bailey joined the venture-backed company in July, but neither he nor his new employer would discuss his appointment at the time because Healtheon was in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s “quiet period” preceding an initial public offering. The company, however, scrapped plans for a fall offering after the IPO market dried up. Healtheon instead raised $46 million in private financing in October. Mr. Bailey’s new position at Healtheon is not his first foray into corporate business-development: He oversaw software maker Symantec Corp.’s business development program from 1989 to 1997.
“It’s a role I love,” he said. Symantec had a very active program under Mr. Bailey’s direction, acquiring 18 companies between 1991 and 1994, including Central Point Software Inc., Peter Norton Computing and THINK Technologies.
Mr. Bailey left Symantec to join Venrock Associates as a partner in October 1997, but quit in April because he missed being part of a high-tech company and because his family wanted to return to the Bay Area.
“He wanted to get back to the corporate world, and he found that he was more interested in pursuing corporate relationships rather than investment relationships of the style that we make,”explained Venrock Managing General Partner Ted McCourtney.
Mr. McCourtney said Venrock had no comment on plans to replace Mr. Bailey.
Mr. Bailey spent four years as an associate at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers before joining Symantec, a former Kleiner Perkins portfolio company. The venture firm also is an investor in Healtheon.
Mr. Bailey said he preferred the “more eclectic,” hands-on deals of corporate business development to traditional venture capital. “I happen to believe that any company should have an active mergers and acquisitions [program],” he added.
Healtheon executives were familiar with Mr. Bailey from his Symantec days, said Healtheon Chief Executive Mike Long. “He’s a seasoned guy in the Valley with an excellent reputation.”
Healtheon had acquired two companies – ActaMed in May and Metis L.L.C. – in August, and part of Mr. Bailey’s job will be to bring them into Healtheon’s fold.
Mr. Long said the goals of his company’s business development program are to increase Healtheon’s market share and customer base and to improve its technology. Toward that end, Healtheon will look for companies that offer Internet technologies, health-care expertise and installed customer-bases in the health-care field.
Mr. Long saw some potential for Healtheon entering a venture-style equity deal, but “it would have to be a very special situation.”
An IPO would have given Healtheon the ability to use its stock to barter in its M&A activities, Mr. Long noted. For now, however, the company will have to use cash for any acquisition of a public company.