Slideshow: The Best Time for a VC Promotion

What’s the likeliest time to get a promotion at a venture capital firm? About three years after its last fund closed.

That’s what I found in my analysis of promotion announcements from U.S. venture capital firms so far this year. The sample set — drawn from 17 announcements published on PEHub — shows the largest number of promotions occurred at firms that last closed a fund in 2008. Most others last closed in 2007 or 2009.

The timing makes sense, given that most funds of that vintage are nearing the end of their most active investment period, and firms are probably starting to plan their next fund-raising effort. That makes it even more crucial to retain talented people and put in place a partnership that will see the firm through its next investment cycle.

Here we take a look at who’s been moving up the ranks this year at firms with 2008-vintage funds. We’ll also look at industry expertise and investment track records among the recently promoted.

[slide title=”Russ Lebovitz, DFJ Mercury”]
Russ Lebovitz
Promotion: From Venture Advisor to Venture Partner
Firm: DFJ Mercury
Location: Houston, Texas
Last fund: DFJ Mercury closed on $70 million for its Fund II in 2008 to focus on seed stage IT and science-based startups, according to Thomson Reuters (publisher of peHUB).
Background: Lebovitz’s area of expertise is bioscience. Previously, he was CEO of C-sixty (acquired by Tego Biosciences) and subsequently CEO of Tego Biosciences. He received an M.D. and Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis.
Investment info: Currently the CEO of Marval Biosciences and the founder and chairman of Imagnx, both of which are DFJ Mercury portfolio companies.

[slide title=”John Vrionis, Lightspeed”]
John Vrionis
Promotion: From Principal to Managing Director
Firm: Lightspeed Venture Partners
Location: Menlo Park, Calif.
Last fund: Lightspeed closed on $800 million for its Fund VIII in 2008 to focus on Internet, technology and cleantech.
Background: Vrionis focuses primarily on information technology infrastructure, with a particular investment interest in data center technologies. He previously worked in product management and marketing with Determina (acquired by VMware).
Investment info: Portfolio companies include DataStax, Embrane, Fast IP and IO Turbine.

[slide title=”Bruce Cleveland, InterWest”]
Bruce Cleveland
Promotion: From Partner to General Partner
Firm: InterWest Partners
Location: Menlo Park, Calif.
Last fund: InterWest raised $650 million for its Fund X in 2008.
Background: Cleveland focuses on cloud computing, analytical applications and mobile infrastructure. Has been with firm since 2006.
Investment info: Last year, Cleveland’s portfolio company, CubeTree, was acquired by SuccessFactors. His active investments include Aria Systems, Cloud9, Doximity, Flurry, Marketo and Signal Demand.

[slide title=”Brian Zimmerman, OpenView”]
Brian Zimmerman
Promotion: From Principal to Managing Director
Firm: OpenView Venture Partners
Location: Boston
Last fund: OpenView closed on $130 million for its technology-focused Fund II in 2008, according to Thomson Reuters.
Background: Zimmerman was previously a principal at Insight Venture Partners, director of corporate sales at Tidal Software, and a player for the New York Mets. Was part of OpenView’s founding team in 2006.
Role at firm: Zimmerman leads OpenView Labs, which provides consulting services to portfolio companies.

[slide title=”Adam Marcus, OpenView”]
Adam Marcus
Promotion: Managing Director (joined firm as principal in September 2009)
Firm: OpenView Venture Partners
Location: Boston
Last fund: OpenView closed on $130 million for its technology-focused Fund II in 2008, according to Thomson Reuters.
Background: Marcus previously worked at Battery Ventures, focusing on investments in marketing services and digital media and was director of corporate development for the Boston Celtics.
Investment info: Currently sits on the boards of Kareo, uSamp and Prognosis.

[slide title=”Mike Dodd, Austin Ventures”]

Mike Dodd
Promotion: Partner (joined firm as venture partner in 2008)
Firm: Austin Ventures
Location: Austin, Texas
Last fund: Austin Ventures closed on a $900 million fund in 2008
Background: Dodd focuses on early and expansion stage software, Web-enabled businesses and consumer services startups. He was previously senior vice president of corporate development at analytics provider Omniture, which was acquired by Adobe for $1.8 billion.
Investment info: Board member at The American Academy,, MapMyFitness and, according to Thomson Reuters.