By Jonathan Marino
Benchmark General Partner Mitch Lasky is dialing back his role with the venture firm and likely will not work all the way through its most recent fund.
LPs in Benchmark’s seventh fund (raised earlier this year) were told Lasky will likely not be around for the full life of the fund and won’t be back for fund VIII, sources familiar with the situation said. To be clear, Lasky is a fully participating GP in Benchmark’s seventh fund and will remain in that capacity for between 18 and 24 months, the sources said.
A Benchmark spokesman said the firm has a policy of not commenting on LP-related issues.
It is likely that Lasky will return to the gaming business, said a source familiar with Lasky’s plans. Prior to joining Benchmark, he was chairman and CEO of Jamdat Mobile, a mobile gaming company backed by Benchmark that was bought by Electronic Arts for $680 million in 2006.
Lasky is the third GP to begin transitioning out of Benchmark this year. In January, General Partners Bob Kagle and Alex Balkanski revealed that they would not be part of fund VII. At that time Kagle said that he would invest on a part-time basis for Benchmark, giving him time to travel, learn to sail and improve his golf game.
“I just want to have more flexibility than the role of a managing general partner would provide,” Kagle said at the time. “There are lots of things I’m interested in making more time for that I haven’t had time for.”
The GPs for Benchmark’s seventh fund are Lasky, Matt Cohler, Bruce Dunlevie, Peter Fenton, J. William “Bill” Gurley, Kevin Harvey and Steven Spurlock.
Benchmark’s seventh fund closed with $425 million earlier this year. The firm is expected to start marketing its eighth fund in 2014, a source said.
Editor’s note: This story was originally published on PE Hub on July 19, 2011.