Kara Swisher

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Former Yahoo Music Exec Dave Goldberg to Head SurveyMonkey

Former Yahoo music head Dave Goldberg–who has been an entrepreneur-in-residence at Benchmark Capital since he left the Internet company more than two years ago–has finally landed at another company, sources said, taking over as CEO of SurveyMonkey.

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Goldberg (pictured here) will head the Portland-based private company, which is an online survey creator, including offering analytics of the results.

Sources said he will also become a minority investor in SurveyMonkey, as part of a deal in which Spectrum Equity Investors and other investors, including Bain Capital Ventures, are acquiring a majority interest in the company.

A Federal Trade Commission site on Friday noted that Spectrum had gotten antitrust approval for a transaction, but did not name Goldberg or SurveyMonkey. But it did name SurveyMonkey co-founder Ryan Finley as also getting approval.

Since it was founded in 1999 by Ryan Finley and Chris Finley, who will remain minority investors in the deal, SurveyMonkey has signed up two million users, six million surveys have been created and 200 million responses have been completed.

It charges a variety of subscription fees for its services and is profitable, with an offering that sits between expensive software packages on one side and free, featureless Web surveys on the other.

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SurveyMonkey is the largest such survey company online, with competitors that include Zoomerang and Constant Contact.

The move is an unusual one for Goldberg, whom many expected to join or start an online entertainment or music company, given his background.

He joined Yahoo (YHOO) in 2001 and headed its global music operations after it bought a company he co-founded in 1994 called LAUNCH Media. Previous to that, Goldberg was director of marketing strategy and new business development at Capitol Records in Los Angeles.

Goldberg has been on the board of the Generations Network, which owns Ancestry.com and which is a Spectrum investment.

Sources said Goldberg will open an office in Silicon Valley and recruit several dozen new employees to expand the business.


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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus