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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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