• 1932
    (b.) - ?


An American businessman, capitalist, and was one of the founders of leading venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. He received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (course 6) from MIT in 1953 and earned an MBA from Harvard in 1957. While attending MIT, he joined the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. In 1963, he was invited by Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard to become the administrative head of the Research department at Hewlett-Packard. He was the first General Manager of HP's computer divisions, credited with helping shepherd HP's entry into the minicomputer business. During the 1960s, he also started University Laboratories, which was later merged into Spectra-Physics. In 1973, with Eugene Kleiner, he founded Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, one of the first Sand Hill Road venture capital firms. Later, Frank Caufield and Brook Byers joined the firm, eventually becoming named partners. Perkins served as a director of Applied Materials, Compaq, Corning Glass, Genentech, Hewlett-Packard, and Philips Electronics. He served as the only Chairman of Tandem Computers, from its founding in 1974 until its 1997 merger with Compaq. He was also Chairman of Genentech from 1976 until 1990 when it merged with Roche Holding Ltd. During the HP/Compaq merger fight in 2001, he was a member of the Compaq Board and an outspoken supporter of the merger. He joined the HP Board of Directors in the merger, retired, and officially rejoined the HP Board days before Carly Fiorina was fired from her posts as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of HP. He resigned from HP's Board on May 18, 2006, over the actions taken by the Board's chair, Patricia C. Dunn, to ferret out the Board-level source of media leaks using methods he considered unethical and possibly illegal. HP gave no cause in the SEC-required 8-K filing, and according to him, they refused to amend the filing to indicate his reasons for resigning. In response, he disclosed his reasons publicly, triggering an SEC investigation and significant media interest into HP's leak-finding activities. His residential phone records were obtained through a method known as pretexting. AT&T confirmed that someone pretended to be him, using his phone number and his Social Security Number. HP confirmed that the investigative firm they hired used pretexting to obtain information on the call records of the Directors. HP's investigation found that Dr. George Keyworth was the source of several leaks. At the May 18, 2006 Board meeting, Dr. Keyworth admitted to leaking information but refused to resign after the Board passed a resolution calling for his resignation. HP's Board decided on August 31, 2006 to not re-nominate Dr. Keyworth for another term as Director. The SEC and the State of California have both begun inquiries into the methods used by HP to investigate its Directors. As of 2007, he sits on the Board of Directors of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, where he serves with Viet D. Dinh. Dinh represented him in the HP Board affair. In July, 2011, Dinh and fellow News Corp. Board member Joel Klein took over the investigation of the News of the World phone hacking affair and related Corporation issues. One business commentator, noting his prior experience with phone-hacking in the HP scandal, speculated that he "may be [was the] best hope" as News Corp. sought to work out of its phone-hacking scandal. He did not stand for re-election to the News Corp Board for the fiscal year of 2012. He was featured in the documentary film Something Ventured which premiered in 2011. He was made a Ritter (knight) of the Kingdom of Norway in 2000, in appreciation of earlier philanthropic contributions. In November 2007, he published a memoir, Valley Boy: The Education of Tom Perkins. (ISBN 1-59-240313-1) Perkins discussed the book, his time at HP, and his sailboat with Lesley Stahl on 60 Minutes in September 2007. He has also written a couple of books about automobiles and sailboats as well as a romance novel.
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    Helped to shepherd Hewlett-Packard 's entry into the minicomputer business
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