Datto founder and former CEO joins General Catalyst as a venture partner
Austin McChord, the founder and former CEO of cloud backup and managed services vendor Datto, has joined venture capital firm General Catalyst as a venture partner, where he will guide the investment in start-up companies.
The Lowdown: Neither McChord nor General Catalyst made a formal announcement of the new position. McChord quietly made the transition public by updating his LinkedIn profile.
UPDATE:General Catalyst posted an announcement of McChord’s appointment. In the announcement, General Catalyst said, “Austin will be based out of [General Catalyst’s] Boston office and will focus on identifying and investing in companies in the infrastructure and SaaS, software-enabled hardware, and industrial IoT spaces. True to the General Catalyst credo, Austin is an entrepreneur looking to help other entrepreneurs reach the next stage of their growth.”
The Details: McChord resigned from Datto in October 2018, less than a year after Vista Equity Partners acquired the company for $1.5 billion and merged it with Autotask, a specialist in remote monitoring and management (RMM) tools for managed service providers. According to ChannelE2E, McChord left Datto after “reevaluating his life, his priorities and his time” following the death of his good friend and colleague, Andrew Stuart.
On Jan. 8, Datto appointed Tim Weller to succeed McChord as CEO. Weller joined Datto in 2017, first as its CFO. He was later promoted to COO. Since McChord left, Weller has served as the interim CEO while the company’s board searched for a permanent replacement.
The Impact: While nothing is known of McChord’s role or plans at General Catalyst, the history of similar moves from the C-suite to the investment community may provide clues. Former CEOs and company founders often join venture capital firms as a prelude to starting a new business. It’s possible that McChord could surface at one or more start-ups as a result of the new position.
Background: McChord and General Catalyst have history. In 2013, McChord reportedly turned down a $100 million acquisition offer from an unnamed security vendor. At the time, Datto was still a relatively small company that had been in business for six years. Following that decision, McChord raised $25 million from General Catalyst to fund a rapid expansion. From that seed, Datto became the only Connecticut start-up valued at more than $1 billion.