Risa Stack, a partner at premier Silicon Valley venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, has left the firm to become general manager of emerging health innovations at General Electric. Stack announced the move Sunday night at a dinner organized by the Rock Health startup accelerator in San Francisco, and Kleiner confirmed it in a press release this morning.
Stack becomes the third prominent female venture partner from Silicon Valley to join healthymagination, a $6 billion GE project to improve healthcare quality and access and reduce healthcare costs globally. Sue Siegel, the former Affymetrix president who led molecular diagnostics investing at Mohr Davidow Ventures, left that firm in May 2012 to become CEO of the healthymagination unit. Rowan Chapman, who had been a Mohr Davidow partner since 2001, followed Siegel to GE in October 2012, becoming head of precision diagnostics.
Stack’s departure after eight years at Kleiner comes as a blow to the famous firm, which has been rocked over the past year by a sexual discrimination lawsuit brought by junior partner Ellen Pao. Stack led personalized medicine and molecular diagnostics investments for the firm and served as a board member or board observer at Kleiner-backed firms such as CardioDX, Nodality, Tethys, Veracyte, and Xdx.
In a statement, Kleiner Perkins founding partner Brook Byers said the firm would likely continue to work with Stack through collaborations and coinvestments with healthymagination. “While she will be missed at KPCB, we are excited that we can continue to work with Risa in her operating role at GE,” Byers said. “We look forward to working even more closely with GE and healthymagination to transform healthcare businesses together.”
As Xconomy’s Luke Timmerman reported last year, healthymagination aims to spend $3 billion by 2015 on innovations that lower healthcare costs, and another $3 billion to finance health IT products in rural, developing, and underserved geographies. Working with firms like Kleiner, Mohr Davidow, MPM Capital, and Venrock, the healthymagination unit has put together “global innovation challenges” with $100 million in prizes available to spur progress in areas like breast cancer detection.
In the Kleiner announcement, Siegel said Stack would be a “tremendous asset to healthymagination as we apply GEO scale to transform healthcare by incubating innovative, disruptive, and scalable solutions.”