U.S. Markets open in 5 hrs 49 mins

Tim Draper to cut back role at Draper Fisher Jurvetson

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Venture capitalist Tim Draper is stepping back from his investment role at Draper Fisher Jurvetson, the firm he founded in 1985.

Long considered venture-capital royalty, Draper is known for investments such as Internet phone service Skype, now part of Microsoft Corp, and Chinese Internet company Baidu Inc .

Some of the more recent investments include electric carmaker Tesla Motors Inc, and initial public offering candidate and cloud-storage company Box.

Draper won't be an investment partner in the firm's next fund, the firm said in a statement on Tuesday, following a report by Fortune Magazine that Draper was leaving. Serving as an investment partner is traditionally considered a venture capitalist's most important role.

The firm didn't give a specific reason for the change, and a spokeswoman didn't respond to a request from Reuters for clarification.

Draper also didn't immediately respond to a telephone message and email seeking comment.

Draper will remain a managing director of existing funds, along with John Fisher, Jennifer Fonstad, Don Wood and Hope Chen. Members of the firm's management committee are Josh Stein, Andreas Stavropoulos, Draper, Fisher, and Steve Jurvetson.

"Tim is actively building Draper University and continuing his angel investments through Draper Associates, and continues to be part of DFJ's management team to guide the firm's direction, manage his existing responsibilities, and work on new projects that could potentially help DFJ in the future," the firm said in the statement.

"Tim expects to be one of our largest limited partners and has full confidence in the existing team."

Draper's family has a history in venture capitalism. His father is William Draper, the founder of Sutter Hill Ventures. His grandfather is William Draper, the founder of Draper, Gaither and Anderson, one of the earliest Silicon Valley venture firms.

His daughter, Jesse, runs an online interview show called "The Valley Girl Show," and a son, Adam, has founded a startup program called Boost. Draper himself runs a training program for startups, Draper University.