Sequoia Capital’s Doug Leone Renounces Trump After Backing Campaign

Sequoia Capital’s Doug Leone Renounces Trump After Backing Campaign

January 22, 2021

Doug Leone, a billionaire venture capitalist atSequoia Capital, said he’s dropping support of Donald Trump, joining a growing list of business leaders condemning the president for stoking deadly riots at the U.S. Capitol.

“After last week’s horrific events, President Trump lost many of his supporters, including me,” Leone wrote in an email seen by Bloomberg. “The actions of the president and other rally speakers were responsible for inciting the rioters.”

The venture capitalist and his wife donated to Trump’s reelection campaign and stood as rare prominent backers in left-leaning Silicon Valley. Leone’s White House ties came in handy last fall when Trump ordered a ban of TikTok, owned by the Sequoia-backed companyByteDance Ltd. Leone helped with negotiations.

Dozens of corporate leaders have denounced Trump’s actions since last week, including the heads ofApple Inc.,Facebook Inc. andTwitter Inc. Most of the president’s strongest allies in the corporate world have remained mum, even as Trump’s days in office run low and as he faces imminent impeachment proceedings.

Venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who backed Trump’s nomination in 2016, has not made any public statements. Oracle Corp. co-founder Larry Ellison and Chief Executive Safra Catz haven’t commented, either. Representatives for all three didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

In Leone’s email, which wasreported earlier Wednesday by technology website Recode, the investor urged unity behind President-elect Joe Biden: “We need to find the best way to move forward as a country, get behind our newly-elected president and start working on the many difficult issues facing America.”

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