Franklin Pitcher Johnson, Jr, a native of Quincy, Illinois, graduated from Palo Alto High School in 1946, received a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford in 1950 and an MBA from Harvard in 1952. He served as a maintenance officer in the U.S. Air Force from 1952 to 1954, and was an open-hearth production executive for Inland Steel Company from 1954 to 1962.
Mr. Johnson was co-founder in 1962 of Draper and Johnson Investment Company, a venture capital company, and became an independent venture capitalist in 1965 as the founder of Asset Management Company, with which he is still associated. Asset Management Company manages two venture capital funds based in Palo Alto, CA.
Mr. Johnson is a director of several private companies. He is also a past director of the National Venture Capital Association, a past president of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists, and was a trustee of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District for 12 years. He taught a class in entrepreneurship and venture capital at Stanford Business School for 12 years and is still active on the faculty there. In other Stanford activities, Mr. Johnson is a member of the advisory board of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and serves to the board of overseers of the Hoover Institution .
In the area of entrepreneurship and privatization, Mr. Johnson has served as an advisor to several eastern European countries since 1990. In conjunction with ABN Amro Bank of the Netherlands, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), and a group of entrepreneurs and venture managers of Polish, Czech, and Slovak origins, Mr. Johnson helped form a venture investment company, European Renaissance Capital, to invest in and assist new and young companies in Poland and the Czech and Slovak Republics. He has also been active in the formation of a buy-out fund in Romania and venture capital funds in Russia, Norway, and New Zealand. He serves on the board of international advisors of the IESE Business School in Barcelona.
Mr. Johnson has been active jet pilot, is a close follower of the sport of track and field, and has attended 12 Olympic Games. He is also was chairman of the board of San Francisco Opera Company.