Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

Like Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Hires Marketing Partner for Silicon Valley VC Firm

Last summer, Andreessen Horowitz hired seasoned tech communications exec Margit Wennmachers as a partner focused on marketing and PR.

Now, Kleiner Perkins is stepping up by making former comms head at the Hulu premium video service, Christina Lee, one too.

While many firms have long had partners who specialize in recruiting or finance, adding someone who focuses on marketing is a new trend.

“Kleiner has been bringing value-added service to their companies for a long time and they saw an opportunity to bring more value to their companies through marketing and communications,” said Lee in an interview with BoomTown this morning. “There are so many wonderful portfolio companies to start helping out.”

Among Kleiner’s recent investments (part of an aggressive effort of late–especially by its legendary partner John Doerr–to focus on social and commerce innovators): Gaming phenom Zynga, microblogging hot mess Twitter, media-sharing app Path and numerous start-ups via its sFund.

Obviously, it is an important job more and more these days, since many Web 2.0 companies are consumer-facing and many green entrepreneurs, well, talk too much.

Here is Lee’s email about her new gig, in which she references her husband, Eric Feng, who works at Kleiner too:

As you may know, Eric and I moved to the Bay Area last summer when he made the decision to join Kleiner Perkins. I left my dream role of running Communications at Hulu, but had the luxury of taking some time off with our first baby.

As the first few months went by, I soon realized that the Bay area was truly one of the most exciting and vibrant places to be. Every day we come across new ideas, fearless entrepreneurs and innovative business models that you can’t help but want to be involved with professionally. So today, I am excited to share the news that I have accepted an offer to be a Marketing and Communications Partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to join one of the most talented and diverse partnerships in the Valley while working alongside some of the most creative entrepreneurs and ground-breaking companies across digital, greentech and life-sciences.

My focus will be simple–help serve as a strategic partner and advisor to our entrepreneurs in all things marketing/communications and continue to build out the capabilities at KPCB to support and serve our portfolio companies as well as the KPCB brand. This role is new to the partnership, but Kleiner has long been a leader in providing value added services to their portfolio companies starting nearly a decade ago with recruiting, and now increasing their commitment through the functions of marketing and communications.

So once again, my professional career walks in parallel with Eric’s–starting from our time in Seattle where I was at Amazon and he at a start-up, then both of us at Microsoft Redmond to Microsoft China, next starting Mojiti.com together in Beijing, then serving as employees #2 and #3 at Hulu, and now together at KPCB! I am excited about this next step in my career and am excited to work together with you in my new role.

Christina


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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