Tom Perkins probably made more headlines in 2006 than any other venture capitalist—quite a feat for someone who retired from active investing so many moons ago.
In February, the 74-year-old co-founder of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers got a fair amount of ink for publishing his first novel: “Sex and the Single Zillionaire.” He wrote it himself, he said, with the encouragement and a few pointers from his ex-wife, Danielle Steel.
In May, Perkins was in the papers again, this time for resigning from his longtime position as a director of Hewlett-Packard. Most people figured he just wanted to take it easy, and that was the way it looked a couple of months later when he unveiled a built-to-order “superyacht” in Italy. Christened the Maltese Falcon, the 287-foot boat is said to be the largest and fastest personal clipper ship in the world.
The theory that Perkins was just taking it easy held together until September, then the HP “pretexting” scandal hit the front page of every major American newspaper. It was then that we learned that Perkins had quit HP’s board four months earlier in protest over the company’s shady leak investigation.
As the year came to a close, the New York Post reported that Perkins had agreed to sell his memoir to an imprint of Penguin books. We cant wait to read “Valley Boy: The Education of Tom Perkins,” but we wonder if there’s anything about Perkins’ life that hasn’t already been in the papers. —Lawrence Aragon/Alastair Goldfisher