Benjamin Abraham Horowitz is an American businessman, investor, blogger, and author. He is a co-founder and general partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. He is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Hard Thing About Hard Things and What You Do Is Who You Are. He also created the a16z Cultural Leadership Fund to connect the greatest cultural leaders to the best new technology companies and enable more young African Americans to enter the technology industry.
Prior to a16z, Ben was cofounder and CEO of Opsware (formerly Loudcloud), which was acquired by Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion in 2007, and was appointed vice president and general manager of Business Technology Optimization for Software at HP. Earlier, he was vice president and general manager of America Online’s E-commerce Platform division, where he oversaw the development of the company’s flagship Shop@AOL service. Previously, Ben ran several product divisions at Netscape Communications. He also served as vice president of Netscape’s widely acclaimed Directory and Security product line. Before joining Netscape in July 1995, he held various senior product marketing positions at Lotus Development Corporation.
Ben serves on the board of Anyscale, Caffeine, Databricks, Mayvenn, NationBuilder, Okta ($OKTA), Sisu, Tanium, TripActions, and UnitedMasters.
Horowitz was born Benjamin Abraham Horowitz in London, England and raised in Berkeley, California. He earned a BA in Computer Science from Columbia University in 1988 and an MS in Computer Science from UCLA in 1990.
Horowitz began his career as an engineer at Silicon Graphics in 1990. In 1995, Horowitz joined Marc Andreessen at Netscape as a product manager. From 1997 to 1998, Horowitz was vice president for the Directory and Security Product Line at Netscape. After Netscape was acquired by AOL in 1998, Horowitz served as Vice President of AOL's eCommerce Division.
In September 1999, Horowitz cofounded Loudcloud with Andreessen, Tim Howes, and In Sik Rhee. Loudcloud offered infrastructure and application hosting services to enterprise and Internet customers such as Ford Motor Company, Nike, Inc., Gannett Company, News Corporation, the United States Army and other large organizations. Horowitz took Loudcloud public on March 9, 2001.
In June 2002, Horowitz began a transformation of Loudcloud into Opsware, an enterprise software company. He took the first step by selling Loudcloud's core managed services business to Electronic Data Systems for $63.5 million in cash. This transaction transferred 100% of Loudcloud's revenue to EDS while the company was publicly traded on NASDAQ. Beginning with EDS as its first enterprise software customer, Horowitz grew Opsware to hundreds of enterprise customers, over $100 million in annual revenue, and 550 employees. In July 2007, Horowitz sold Opsware to Hewlett-Packard for $1.6 billion in cash.
Horowitz was Loudcloud's and Opsware's President and Chief Executive Officer for the entire history of the company. Along the way, shares of Opsware IPO'ed at $6, sank to $0.35 per share at its nadir and traded at $14.25 a share at the time of its sale to HP.
Following the sale of Opsware to Hewlett-Packard, Horowitz then spent one year at Hewlett-Packard as Vice President and General Manager in HP Software with responsibility for 3,000 employees and $2.8 billion in annual revenue.
On July 6, 2009, Horowitz and Andreessen launched Andreessen Horowitz, to invest in and advise both early-stage startups and more established growth companies in high technology. Andreessen Horowitz began with an initial capitalization of $300 million and within three years had $2.7 billion under management across three funds.
Ben Horowitz is the author of two books, "The Hard Thing About Hard Things" and "What You Do Is Who You Are", with the former offering practical wisdom on building and running a startup and the latter focusing on how to create and sustain the culture of an organization by examining four models of leadership and culture-building outside the usual business case studies.
Horowitz's books draw from his personal experiences and insights gained from developing, managing, selling, buying, investing in, and supervising technology companies.
The vision of Ben Horowitz is to provide practical wisdom and essential advice to entrepreneurs and leaders on building and running successful businesses, with a focus on addressing the toughest problems that business schools don't cover.
He aims to share his personal and often humbling experiences to help aspiring and veteran entrepreneurs navigate the challenges of the startup world and create purposeful cultures in their organizations.
Horowitz believes that culture is critical to a company's success, and he draws inspiration from a range of historical and cultural examples to help readers become the kind of leaders they want to be, and others want to follow.
Recognition and Awards
- Profile - Ben Horowitz | Forbes
- The Hard Thing About Hard Things — Ben Horowitz — Summary and review | Sam Harris
- Book Summary — What you do is Who you are | Michael Batko
- Andreessen Horowitz | openbusinesscouncil.org
- Ben Horowitz | Wikipedia
- Andreessen Horowitz is blowing up the venture capital model again | Forbes
- Meet the former prosecutor who became the face of crypto VC investing | CNBC
- Cryptocurrency investor Katie Haun is leaving Andreessen Horowitz to launch her own firm | Business Journals
- Who is Ben Horowitz and why he is trending | Kalkine Media
- Big Hires, Big Money and a D.C. Blitz: A Bold Plan to Dominate Crypto | New York Times
- Andreessen Horowitz launches $2.2 billion crypto fund and is ‘radically optimistic’ despite price fluctuations | CNBC
- Ford Motor Company | openbusinesscouncil.org
- Nike, Inc | openbusinesscouncil.org
- Gannett Company | openbusinesscouncil.org
- Netscape co-founder Andreessen's company near flat; Starband pulls IPO | CNN
- What is Ben Horowitz Net Worth? | Growth Hackers
- HP takes out Opsware for $1.6 billion; Andreessen scores | ZDNet
- UCLA | openbusinesscouncil.org
- Columbia University | openbusinesscouncil.org
- Ben Horowitz General Partner Andreessen Horowitz | Okta