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Larry Summers wants to be a geek

By Laurie Bennett

July 1, 2011 at 8:36am

Larry Summers hasn’t lost any time reconnecting in the business world since leaving as head of the National Economic Council.

This week, Andreessen Horowitz, the venture capital firm that has invested in Skype, Groupon, Facebook and Zynga, announced that Summers had moved into a part-time adviser post.

JLarry Summers
Larry Summers

The week before, Summers joined the board of Square, the mobile payments startup founded by Twitter Chairman Jack Dorsey.

Marc L. Andreessen, founder of Netscape and Andreessen Horowitz general partner, told The New York Times that Summers will help the firm’s portfolio companies address global economic and political issues.

“I don’t want to be a Rolodex man or a door opener,” the very connected Summers told the Times. “I am interested in making contributions as a thinker.”

Yet his emerging role in the tech sector drew mixed reviews. “Is Larry Summers Andreessen Horowitz’s Kiss of Death?” Forbes asked.

Forbes’ Peter Cohan described Summers’ new job as an example of the “interloper effect,” which occurs when people unfamiliar with an industry move into decision-making positions.

But as Andreessen pointed out, Summers was admitted to MIT at age 16, a sign that he is “clearly our kind of nerd.”

And let’s not forget Summers’ showdown as president of Harvard with the Winklevoss twins, delightfully played by Douglas Urbanski and Armie Hammer in “The Social Network.”

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