Kara Swisher

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Exclusive: OpenTable CEO Jordan Likely to Head to Silicon Valley VC Firm Andreessen Horowitz

Jeff Jordan, the president and CEO of OpenTable who unexpectedly stepped down from his job today at the online restaurant reservation leader, is set to take a job at a major venture firm in Silicon Valley.

Sources said Jordan has spoken to several major VCs about moving to their firms recently.

While Benchmark Capital was a big funder of OpenTable before it went public in 2009, sources said the likeliest home for the well-known Internet player–Jordan has also been a major exec at eBay–is Andreessen Horowitz.

The move would be a coup for the firm, which has been busy adding partners since its founding only a few years ago by Web icon Marc Andreessen and his longtime business partner Ben Horowitz.

Jordan’s announcement that he was leaving OpenTable today during its first-quarter earnings call caused the stock to decline precipitously today, even though he said he would remain active as executive chairman.

CFO Matthew Roberts was named as his replacement.

Explaining the move, Jordan said:

“I’ve been managing Internet businesses since 1999. That’s 12 years of being in the tornado, and it’s pretty exhausting. I’ll be looking at the next challenge, but in terms of operating an Internet business, I’ve scratched that itch very well.”

It’s an itch that he will be scratching as a VC apparently and likely at one of tech’s hottest firms, which has investments in everything from gaming phenom Zynga to social buying service Groupon to microblogging start-up Twitter.

A spokeswoman for Andreessen Horowitz declined to comment and Jordan has not responded to an email query.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work