We are thrilled to welcome Ken Chenault to the General Catalyst family as chairman and a managing director. Having spent the last 17 years as Chairman and CEO of American Express and most recently, been appointed to the boards of Airbnb (GC is an investor in the company) and Facebook, Ken does not need much in the way of an introduction. Widely recognized as a principled leader, Ken’s reputation is built on a foundation of integrity, ethics, and trust.
As a managing director at GC, Ken will focus on investing in fast-growing companies that have the potential to become large, fundamental institutions. He’ll also provide invaluable guidance to our portfolio companies, particularly to those with an eye towards global markets and responsible innovation, as they scale their teams and products. As chairman, Ken will use his renowned leadership skills and experience to continue to evolve GC into a formidable and enduring firm.
On that wealth of experience: while at the helm of Amex, Ken appreciably strengthened an already household name brand. He oversaw the growth and reach of the company’s financial service products through incredibly strong strategic partnerships and through campaigns like “Small Business Saturday” which grew from a “buy local” marketing slogan to a holiday shopping cultural phenomenon in support of mom-and-pop shops everywhere. Without a doubt, he is one of the most accomplished, respected, and well-liked CEOs in the Fortune 100.
It may be obvious, but to us, that last bit is the most important part. Our mandate as a venture firm is simple: have deep empathy for entrepreneurs and the challenges that come with building a business, encourage creativity and fun, and prioritize strong relationships above all. We should be comfortable being ambitious but we endeavor never to lose sight of the goal of doing well by doing good. In getting to know Ken over more than 20 years as a friend, trusted advisor and mentor to several of our founders, we’ve seen his respect for innovation and entrepreneurship first hand and are confident that both our business and cultural values are strongly aligned.
We are honored that Ken is joining GC and look forward to putting his considerable expertise to immediate work.
Please join us in welcoming Ken to team GC!