Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Facebook Loses Another Top Exec: Chamath Palihapitiya to Start a VC Fund

Facebook VP Chamath Palihapitiya, who leads the company’s growth, mobile and international efforts, will leave to start a venture capital firm.

Palihapitiya has been with Facebook since 2007 and was the first executive in charge of Facebook Platform, which he says will underlie many of his investments, though they will be in diverse sectors including technology, healthcare, education and financial services, according to TechCrunch.

Palihapitiya is reportedly raising up to $400 million from himself and other technology leaders. The firm’s working name is “The Social+Capital Partnership.”

Prior to joining Facebook, Palihapitiya was briefly a venture capitalist at Mayfield Fund. Before that he was at AOL. He has been an active investor throughout his time at Facebook in companies such as Playdom (bought by Disney) and Top Prospect.

A Facebook spokesman said via email:

“We can confirm Chamath is leaving to return to his roots as a full-time investor. We wish him all the best and are happy to support his new venture.”

Facebook, which is expected to go public in the next year, has earned a reputation for leaking top executives and long-time employees. Palihapitiya’s resignation follows that of VP of Technical Operations Jonathan Heiliger, who announced last month he plans to leave the company at the end of the summer.

Facebook only acknowledges 13 people on its executive bio page; now two of them will be gone.

That said, both of them are leaving on high notes; Heilinger just opened Facebook’s data center and open-sourced its design, while Palihapitiya has reigned over a period of almost unfathomable growth.

Please see the disclosure about Facebook in my ethics statement.


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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