Kara Swisher

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Former Groupon President and COO Solomon Joins Accel Partners


Accel Partners has added longtime tech exec Rob Solomon — who was most recently president and CEO of Groupon — as a venture partner. The high-profile Silicon Valley venture firm said Solomon will focus on early stage and growth equity opportunities and focus on “operational issues like product management, scaling infrastructure, business operations, and mergers and acquisitions.”

Said Accel Partner Andrew Braccia in a statement: “[Solomon] has been at the helm of some of the most high profile consumer internet brands and has demonstrated a unique ability to inspire and lead teams through both rapid growth and challenging times.”

Indeed, Solomon has had a long Silicon Valley career, including as an top exec at Yahoo, running its e-commerce efforts. He was also CEO of SideStep, a real-time vertical search engine in the travel sector that was later sold to Kayak and is also on several boards, including HomeAway.

But Solomon is best known for his stint as the No. 2 exec at the Chicago-based Groupon, the once high-flying daily deals site. But, for a variety of reasons, including wanting to be located in California, he left the company two years ago.

Solomon emailed me last night to explain why he decided to take a job as a VC at Accel and here’s what he wrote:

“I love the tactics and strategies associated with scaling up Internet companies. Nothing is more exciting then digging deep into a space and then figuring out which companies stand the best chance to create new markets and become iconic category defining companies. I was lucky enough to work with some of the world’s best founders, technologists and executives at Yahoo and that experience taught me what is possible in a very short span of time. I’ve joined Accel because they have an incredible global platform to find, nurture, fund and grow the next generation of global iconic Internet companies and nothing could be more exciting to me for my next career adventure.”

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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