A new revolving door carries ex-military leaders into the world of venture capital

By working for VCs that specialize in defense technology startups, former generals and DOD officials could earn large paydays, if the tech they advocate is adopted.

By Shelly BrisbinJanuary 4, 2024 11:00 am, ,

When high-ranking military officers and Defense Department officials retire, they can often find comfortable jobs waiting for them in the private sector, working for defense contractors.

The New York Times recently reported on a new spin on that revolving door between government service and industry – ex-military and DOD officials signing up to work with venture capital firms that specialize in defense technology startups.

Tech expert Omar Gallaga says joining a VC firm is all about great financial reward, and betting on multiple technologies the government might decide to buy.

Highlights from this segment:

– More than 50 high-ranking defense officials have joined venture capital firms with investments in military-focused startups. 

– Officials who join VC firms stand to make substantial sums if the technology they advocate is adopted by the government.

– VC-connected ex-officials are generally referred to as “advisors” and often do not register as lobbyists.

– Sen. Elizabeth Warren has criticized the trend as an example of war profiteering. 

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