After leaving Khosla Ventures after its last fund, Silicon Valley icon Pierre Lamond has resurfaced in a new role. The veteran venture capitalist has taken an advisory position at Formation 8, the three-year-old venture firm founded by Joe Lonsdale, Jim Kim and Brian Koo.
Lamond has been in tech for more than five decades, getting his start in the then-nascent semiconductor business. He held positions in Fairchild Semiconductor and its spinoff National Semiconductor before entering venture investing in the early 1980s.
Lamond joined Sequoia Capital in 1981 and led investments in a number of its semiconductor and infrastructure companies, including Cypress Semiconductor, Microchip Semiconductor, Vitesse Semiconductor, and Redback Networks. In 2009 he joined Khosla Ventures as part of its KV III fund, where he was interested in backing cleantech and research-heavy industrial startups.
A few months ago, however, it became clear Lamond had left Khosla Ventures after he was not listed on a regulatory filing related to the firm’s newest fund, and his bio disappeared from the venture firm’s website. At that time, Lamond told Fortune that he wasn’t retired, and that he might become an adviser to one or two firms.
Well, he has reemerged in an advisory role at Formation 8, where he is being reunited with Kim and Gideon Yu, both of whom he had worked with previously.
Yu first got to know Lamond after joining YouTube as CFO, where the veteran VC was advising the young team prior to their sale to YouTube. They worked together again when Yu joined Sequoia and later when he found himself also at Khosla Ventures. Kim would also work with Lamond at Khosla Ventures before moving on to found Formation 8.
At Formation 8, Lamond says he will work to mentor the founding partners and entrepreneurs they invest in. He plans to sit in on board meetings of portfolio companies and offer advice when he can, as well as advising Formation 8 founders when they are deciding whether or not to make an investment in specific companies. Lamond also hopes to help out with recruiting, especially as the firm is looking to bring on another investment professional to join the team.
“I’m what you might call a consigliere,” Lamond told me by phone. He said he didn’t have a specific charter at Formation 8, but will provide guidance whenever and wherever he can. “When you think about the venture business… You don’t learn that in business school. You need to go through an apprenticeship and the guys at Formation 8 know that,” he said.
For Kim, the experience he brings will be invaluable to Formation 8. Even before the advisory role was official, Kim says he would reach out to Lamond whenever he would get stuck or need advice while working to build the firm.
“We haven’t had the same breadth of experiences he has. He’s literally seen every situation,” Kim said.
So when they heard that Lamond was leaving Khosla Ventures, he and Yu reached out to see if their mentor would be interested in joining Formation 8. Lamond didn’t want the full responsibilities of a partner, but agreed to be heavily involved in the firm. And as part of his advisory role, he’ll be allowed to invest along with Formation 8 whenever they choose to back a company.
“This is not a lightweight commitment on Pierre’s side,” Yu told me by phone. “He will come into the office, mentor partners and entrepreneurs and advise on investments… We wanted to have as much of Pierre as we could.”
According to Yu, having Lamond’s experience and help is not just a value-add for partners and portfolio companies, but also serves as a bit of validation for the firm’s early success. While just a few years old, its first fund has already seen a couple of exits with Oculus and RelateIQ, and it expects to see many more as time goes on.
“When I think about someone with Pierre’s proven track record, his value-add and legendary reputation… He had his choice to be an advisor or mentor at any company and any firm in the Valley. Having him on board is another validation of what we’re doing [at Formation 8],” Yu said.