Facebook makes a strong hire in Chamath Palihapitiya. Chamath was just recently at Mayfield Funds a firm that was trying to turn its reputation around over the past two years (PE Wire slammed them a while back). Chamath was also a former executive at Time Warner Inc.’s AOL unit AIM and ICQ.
Why is this a good hire? I’ve gotten to know Chamath. He’s 11 years younger than me but he is super smart and understands the impact of the net on peoples lives and he gets technology.
The real deal in my mind is that Chamath ran the AIM and ICQ business at AOL. These products became the lifeblood of peoples lives since day 1 of the net. Both guys/gals from my age (41) to the young ones going back to 1995 have all used IM as a digital utility to their life. Now all those users and kids that grew up with Chamath’s product have and will graduate to Facebook where Chamath will become Facebook’s vice president of product marketing and operations. It also helps that Chamath has expanded his horizon’s by sitting on the ivory tower of deal flow -that is working for a tier one VC in Mayfield. This is a good move for Facebook and a great move for Chamath. Also this isn’t the classic VC like hire of ‘getting some adult supervision’ to watch the kids and founder. Facebook is doing fine on its own. Instead Chamath’s young and experienced. His skill set will be a great addition to the young and growing team at Facebook.
Chamath Palihapitiya best of success to you!