Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Exclusive: OutCast's Wennmachers Joins Andreessen Horowitz as Partner

Margit Wennmachers (pictured here), one of Silicon Valley’s leading public relations and communications execs, is joining Andreessen Horowitz as a partner.

Wennmachers, 45, co-founded OutCast Communications, whose clients include Yahoo (YHOO), Facebook and Andreessen Horowitz.

The move will make her one of a handful of women at high-profile venture outfits.

At Andreessen Horowitz, she’ll focus on bringing marketing expertise to the firm and its portfolio companies, starting in September.

“For me, it’s a chance to build a top-notch VC firm and work with talented entrepreneurs, so what’s not to like?” wrote Wennmachers in an email to BoomTown (who got off a horse in Wyoming to write this).

Andreessen Horowitz has made a big splash since it was created a year ago with $300 million in funding. Its portfolio of high-profile companies includes Skype, RockMelt and Zynga.

Wennmachers got to know both Marc Andreessen and Ben Horowitz when they hired OutCast to launch their firm last year. Andreessen Horowitz will continue to be an OutCast client.

OutCast was founded 13 years ago by Wennmachers and Caryn Marooney. It was bought by Next Fifteen Communications in 2005, but has been operated independently ever since and will continue to be.

In fact, Marooney will continue to run OutCast, which has more than 80 employees in San Francisco and New York.

Its clients reflect a breadth of Web and other companies–big and small, public and private–also including AdMob, Aliph, Amazon (AMZN), Autodesk (ADSK), Bloom, VMware (VMW), salesforce.com (CRM), Code Advisors, Cisco (CSCO), Zimbra and Netflix (NFLX).

“OutCast is the best in the business. Between VMware, salesforce.com and Facebook, they have an outstanding track record of working with the best companies and making them more valuable,” said Andreessen. “We are thrilled that one of the founders has decided to join our firm. Margit’s experience in building brands will be a big asset to Andreessen Horowitz and our portfolio.”


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik