Pitch Johnson is a founding partner of Asset Management, an early-stage capital venture company. Known throughout the venture capital industry for his vision, insight and principles, he has been at the center of a number of Silicon Valley's biggest and longest-running success stories. He stands out as one of the inventors of the venture capital business.
A Palo Alto High School graduate, Johnson got into venture capital after graduating from Stanford University and Harvard Business School, doing a hitch in the Air Force and working the furnaces at a steel mill. In 1962, he and Bill Draper decided to put together an early investment fund.
Three years later, Johnson founded Asset Management Company. Over the ensuing decades, Johnson launched and managed a number of funds. Many Silicon Valley firms owe their success to the leadership that came from Asset Management.
Many of those early relationships remain strong today. Johnson still sits on the board of directors of Amgen, Novocell, Inc., Applied Micro Circuits, Her Interactive, Hypres, San Francisco Opera, and, until its merger into BMC Software, served for 30 years as chairman of the board of Boole and Babbage.
In addition, Johnson devotes time to developing venture capital operations in other countries, particularly in Eastern Europe. He also created and for 12 years taught the course in venture capital at Stanford Business School.
Johnson and his family are intensely involved in philanthropic and community activities, primarily in the Bay Area. He also has been active in alumni affairs at both Stanford and Harvard Business School, and served for over a decade as a trustee of the Foothill-DeAnza Community College District. Johnson is a long-time trustee of the San Francisco Opera and is its current board chairman.