New York investment firm KKR has hired French billionaire Xavier Niel as an independent director, with a view to increasing its tech footprint.
The move, effective yesterday, sees Niel take the seventh of 11 independent director seats at the company, which is worth almost $150 billion and has a portfolio spread across wildly different sectors including energy, retail, real estate and media.
Niel, a serial entrepreneur from Paris, has become known in recent years as the ‘godfather of French tech’. Worth an estimated $9.6bn he has created a long line of companies – mainly in the media and telecommunications sphere – in France and Monaco.
Niel’s latest projects include 42, a free tech school in the French capital, and Station F, Europe’s largest tech campus, which opened last summer with €250m ($308m) of Niel’s own capital. Other investments include Snap and WeWork.