Almost exactly three years ago, Patrick Pichette surprised industry observers when he left his powerful job as the CFO of Google to, well, enjoy his life. As he described the decision at the time, he wanted to “enjoy a perfectly fine midlife crisis full of bliss and beauty.”
Now, Pichette is back in a role that should afford him both mental stimulation, as well as plenty of time to relax. He’s become a VC. Specifically, Pichette, a native of Montreal, has joined the Canadian venture firm iNovia Capital as a general partner, alongside another former CFO of a notable company: Dennis Kavelman, who left RIM in 2010 after a three-year stint.
For iNovia, the hires would seem to be a no-brainer, particularly as it looks to expand internationally. Pichette, for example, will split his time between its Canadian offices in Montreal and Toronto and London, where iNovia is newly opening an office.
Why Pichette would choose iNovia, a 10-year-old, still relatively small firm that manages $500 million across three funds, is probably a question that Sand Hill Road firms are wondering today.
The answer, in part, Pichette tells Recode, is that he believes in Canada’s startup scene. He says he’s also happier to maintain some distance from the region.
“Despite being right next door, it’s far from Silicon Valley . . . I’m telling you very publicly that I’m quietly working in a place where there’s less pressure and there’s actually more fun opportunities.”