Carl Ledbetter

Managing Partner, Pelion Venture Partners

In the last five years, Carl has received four new patents and had three new grandbabies, but it is clearly the grandbabies that are the most important to him. He’s no longer our only grandfather, but he’s still the only one of us with a passel of patents, which we don’t even pretend to understand, but we do follow his grandbabies on social media. He likes to think he’s perceived as a tough-guy executive and technologist, but it’s a hard role to play when we watch Finn, Adeline, and Portia turn him into a pushover Poppie. Carl is a (former) runner, an avid hiker (having done twenty Fourteeners and been to Kilimanjaro), a SCUBA diver, and a technical rock climber. And that’s saying something. He has also been on every continent, including on mainland Antarctica, been to over seventy countries, swum in every ocean in the world, including the Baltic, the Black Sea, and both the Arctic and Antarctic Oceans (where it was 29 degrees Fahrenheit—can you say shrinkage?). We tell you these not to boast about Carl, but to point out one irrefutable truth that he mentions all the time in defense of his activities: They’re a lot safer than his day job. Carl has been in the venture capital business for 21 years — eleven at Pelion and the rest at Novell and AT&T. And during that time he has served on the boards of three public and more than twenty private companies. Including senior executive positions at IBM (where he was Lab Director of the Engineering and Scientific Processor Products Laboratory at Kingston, NY, where he was the Systems Manager of IBM’s last water-cooled mainframe, the 3090), Control Data Corporation (where he was President of CDC’s supercomputer subsidiary, ETA Systems), SUN Microsystems (where he ran SUN’s PC Networking Division), and AT&T (where he was President of the Consumer Products Division).