Kara Swisher

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Khosla Ventures Hires Ex-Yahoo Mojgan Khalili as Comms Partner

Mojgan Khalili

Another prominent venture firm has stepped up in the marketing arena and hired well-regarded former Yahoo communications exec Mojgan Khalili as an operating partner.

In an interview yesterday, Vinod Khosla said that the move was part of the Silicon Valley firm’s motto of “venture assistance.”

Like many top VCs these days, Khosla said that helping build the start-ups it invests in is a key part of its offering. It already has partners specializing in recruiting and finance.

“We are building an operating organization and communications is an important part of that to help the companies we invest in,” said Khosla. “Obviously, other firms are using this function to promote themselves, but as a fund we don’t need more publicity.”

Khosla noted that Khalili’s job would be almost entirely focused on helping start-ups. But the latter part of that quote was referencing the boom in comms hiring by prominent VC firms — such as Andreessen Horowitz, Kleiner Perkins and Sequoia Capital — some of which are getting a lot of press attention, too.

Khosla acknowledged the importance of good marketing — even some entrepreneurs, such as Square’s Jack Dorsey, are PR naturals.

“He is someone who does press well,” he said. “But 90 percent of start-ups need help to do this function, which is increasingly critical.”

Khalili is a longtime comms exec, who most recently headed product issues at Yahoo, working with top execs there.

“Working with great partners at Khosla Ventures and assisting awesome companies in so many different industries like, tech, big data, health, food and energy makes this opportunity perfect,” she said. “I am really excited to dig in.”

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