PALO ALTO, Calif. – Causing some confusion with the title, Patricof & Co. named Evangelos Simoudis as a venture partner in September. He joins Ronald Weissman who has been in the role since March.
Unlike other firms, Patricof is using the venture partner title to refer to a full-time permanent position. Weissman and Simoudis plan to divide their time between the activities typical of a GP and those more like a consultant to Patricof’s portfolio companies.
Simoudis said he will spend about 40% of his time helping portfolio companies in the U.S. with operational problems. For the balance of the time, he will have the standard investment professional’s responsibilities.
“I’m basically a CEO on call,” Simoudis said, adding that he might be asked about compensation plans for a sales team, crisis situations, negotiations for a partnership and many other hands-on issues.
Simoudis said he has been in operations for 10 years, most recently with Customer Analytics, a customer relationship management company. Simoudis helped build the company from inception and was chief executive officer for two years before an acquisition by Xchange Inc. Simoudis spent the five years prior to Customer Analytics with IBM Corp., where he started the global business intelligence division.
Venture capital attracted Simoudis, because he remembered his experiences as a young executive and wants to share his experiences with new CEOs. “I believe that CEOs today do not have enough support on how to build their companies,” Simoudis said.
Simoudis, the venture partner for the domestic portfolio companies, joined Ron Weissman who had been in the role working with the firm’s international companies. They will both be working on expanding their portfolio companies’ markets globally.
Both men hold doctorate degrees: Simoudis in Computer Science and Weissman in European History.
“You can call me a real Renaissance man,” Weissman joked, referring to his curriculum’s emphasis on the Italian Renaissance.
Weissman said he splits his time evenly between the role of a GP and of an operational consultant with portfolio companies of Apax Partners Venture Holding Ltd., Patricof’s international parent.
Weissman brings what he calls extensive operating experience to Patricof. He said he has been in the trenches – creating sustained value on Wall Street, launching different business channels and actually creating the collateral needed to run a business.
Weissman was most recently a vice-president at Verity, responsible in his words for all outbound communications. During his tenure, Verity received an award for its turnaround, and its market capitalization rose from $50 million to over $1.5 billion.