Mary Meeker is very different from Ellen Pao.
She has been quoted as saying the firm’s attitude towards women is great — “the nicest, sweetest, tamest place,” especially as compared to Wall Street, where she previously spent more than two decades. In fact, she told an outside investigator a few years ago that she would like to see the firm’s interpersonal environment “grow up and get tougher.”
She’s also now — as a general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and leading one of its key teams — one of the most powerful people in venture capital. While Pao and her colleague Trae Vassallo, who was sexually harassed by another partner at Kleiner Perkins, have struggled, Meeker has thrived.
And while Pao has offered many details of her life in her discrimination and retaliation lawsuit, Meeker is notoriously private. She rarely gives interviews and only really appears publicly once a year — most recently at our Code Conference — to deliver a highly choreographed slideshow presentation on Internet trends that sets the tone for many industry conversations. To see Meeker on the stand, speaking without a script and without a press liaison to mediate, will be a remarkable moment in this historic trial.
Oh, and Meeker was invited on that all-male ski trip to Colorado that Pao and some female Kleiner entrepreneurs were left out of. Meeker didn’t end up joining — but she has her own house in Colorado, so the single-sex lodging situation wouldn’t have been an issue, we’ve been told in court.
So who is Meeker? She’s the widely respected Internet analyst who was recruited to Kleiner in 2010 after a long and influential career as a managing director and research analyst for Morgan Stanley. Meeker leads the firm’s digital growth fund, which makes late-stage investments in Internet companies like Soundcloud, Spotify, Jawbone and Waze.
When Meeker takes the stand this afternoon, we’re likely to hear a lot more about her and her role in the workplace than we have in the past.
We’ve heard that Meeker didn’t have the highest opinion of Pao. According to the testimony of independent investigator Stephen Hirschfeld in court, Meeker told him that Pao was a “so-so” investor who was “not very persuasive, not very articulate,” and “she just couldn’t own the room.”
There’s also been some discussion during the trial of Meeker’s status at Kleiner Perkins — was she promoted to her full role only after Ellen Pao filed her lawsuit against the firm? Hopefully she can clear that up, and a lot more, on the stand.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.