John O’Farrell – Venture Capitalist, General Partner at Andreessen Horowitz
John O’Farrell has over 30 years of experience as a senior executive, board member and investor in the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia. Having worked in both Fortune 100 corporations as well as startups, he brings unique expertise in technology and the digital transformation and disruption of industries – from both the perspective of the disruptor as well as the incumbent corporation being disrupted. While he also has a broad range of operating and investing skills, he brings particular strengths in global strategy, business development, strategic alliances and mergers and acquisitions.
John is a general partner of Andreessen Horowitz, where he has played a key role in establishing it as one of Silicon Valley’s leading venture capital firms. John serves as a board member for five technology companies operating in cloud software, mobile communications, Internet of Things, data and analytics. John is a supportive and engaged board member, contributing on strategy, organization design, executive recruiting, succession planning, strategic partnering, international expansion and M&A. He serves on the Audit Committee for Slack Technologies, a San Francisco-based provider of collaboration software valued at over $5 billion. He also serves on one non-profit board, Maplight, and on the US Advisory Board of Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders.
John played a critical role in three Silicon Valley companies (Opsware, Silver Spring Networks, AtHome) from startup to IPO, as both a strategic business development executive and division general manager. His contributions to Opsware Inc. – from near-bankruptcy in 2002 to its 2007 sale to HP for $1.65 billion – are portrayed in Ben Horowitz’s book “The Hard Thing about Hard Things”. In the book, Ben describes John as “the industry’s greatest M&A negotiator” and “the greatest big-deal person I have ever known”.
John has also had a major strategic impact on large public corporations dealing with digital disruption, as both a corporate officer and a management consultant. For US WEST, a Fortune 100 company, he led a strategy development effort involving over 100 executives that transformed a defensive incumbent regional telco, under assault by new entrants, into a major competitor in telecom markets worldwide. For Eircom, an Irish state-owned company entering privatization, John drove successful diversification and expansion into new businesses, strengthening its position at home and abroad. As a management consultant for Booz Allen, he led strategy development projects for Toshiba, Bechtel and Alcoa. Earlier in his career, John worked for Siemens in Munich and the European Commission in Luxembourg.
John has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he graduated as an Arjay Miller Scholar, and a Bachelor of Electronic Engineering with First Class Honors from University College Dublin. A US and EU citizen married to a Brazilian, John speaks English, German, French and Portuguese. He has written extensively on strategy and global business development, and has spoken at many international conferences, recently including the SZ Finanztag 2017 (Frankfurt), Web Summit (Dublin), and Atlantik-Brücke (San Francisco and Starnberg).