Kenealy said in an interview that IDG is eliminating the full-time CEO position and that the company will now have a decentralized management structure. Kenealy will remain an IDG board member.
Kenealy, who has been CEO of IDG since 2002, launched the Pacific I Fund in 1996. It has since grown to four times its initial investment of $100 million.
News of Kenealy’s return to the venture-capital arena comes a few months after he promoted Computerworld President-CEO Bob Carrigan to the new position of president of IDG Communications, IDG's print and online publishing subsidiary.
“I don't know the real reason [why he's stepping down], but it has to be one of three reasons," said Rob Garrett, founder and managing director of media investment banking firm AdMedia Partners. "He wants to move back to California, he doesn't want to be CEO and realizes he's first in class in the venture-capital field, or [IDG Chairman] Pat McGovern doesn't want him to be CEO any longer."