Sequoia erases Elon Musk Sequoia erases Elon Musk Elon Musk has disappeared from Sequoia Capital's gallery of its greatest investment hits, a couple of hours after we first noted his smiling mug displayed as the face of Paypal. Are venture capitalists indeed capable of feeling shame?

The background: Musk was a charismatic chancer, backed by the venture capital firm, with an online bank which wasn't going anywhere. He was involved in Paypal only in so far as he managed to talk his way into a 50-50 merger with the successful online payments service, and served as CEO until his wayward management style provoked a staff revolt.

The story explains one of the Valley's key rivalries. The real Paypal founders, Peter Thiel and Max Levchin, were so heavily diluted by the combination that, when Paypal was sold to eBay for $1.5bn, they owned well under 10% of the company.


Sequoia's Mike Moritz, the Valley's leading venture capital investor, was the one who persuaded them to merge. And Peter Thiel, who has hired another casualty of Moritz for his own founder-friendly fund, has a long and resentful memory. Sequoia's website glitch will keep it fresh.