Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Sequoia Capital Hires Blair Shane as CMO

Blair Shane, who previously ran marketing for the Stanford Graduate School of Business and the California Academy of Sciences, has joined Sequoia Capital as chief marketing officer.

Blair ShaneShe replaces Mark Dempster, a 13-year veteran of Sequoia, who said he will be launching an independent advisory service for founders, having caught the entrepreneurial bug himself.

Shane arrives at Sequoia at a time when venture capitalists are more concerned with their own images than ever — a mindset that’s often attributed to the success of splashy new firm Andreessen Horowitz, led by its partner Margit Wennmachers.

The new CMO has quite the track record, having launched the Academy of Sciences’ new museum in 2008. She had been at Stanford for the past three years.

Other recent additions to Sequoia’s marketing team include Andrew Kovacs, formerly of Google, who runs communications; and Ben Worthen, formerly of The Wall Street Journal, who leads content efforts. Sequoia just launched Grove, a site for practical startup advice, with posts from Sequoia portfolio company founders.

Sequoia, which has traditionally refrained from horn-tooting to the point of silence, declined to comment on Shane’s hiring, the other members of her team, or what she’ll be working on. Pointing out that Shane is to lead marketing did not change their minds.


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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