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How Many Board Seats Is Too Many?

Clockwise from top left: Amish Jani; Hemant Taneja; Mike Volpi; John Frankel; Joe Lonsdale; Navin Chaddha; Scott Sandell; John Doerr. Photos: Messrs. Jani, Taneja and Doerr via TechCrunch; other via Bloomberg.

Scandals at Uber and SoFi have led to renewed calls for stronger board oversight in Silicon Valley. But is that possible from a director who sits on 18 boards?

The Information identified at least 24 venture capitalists who hold nine or more directorships at technology companies, including partners at Benchmark, Kleiner Perkins and Andreessen Horowitz. FirstMark managing director Amish Jani sits on 18 boards, closely followed by John Doerr, the legendary venture capitalist, who sits on 17 boards. NEA managing general partner Scott Sandell and Andreessen Horowitz general partner Peter Levine aren’t far behind, sitting on 16 and 15 company boards, respectively.

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‘If a VC is sitting on 16 boards, they’re not paying attention to 16 companies to the same level.’