As the WSJ announced today, Chamath Palihapitiya is leaving Mayfield to join Facebook as VP of Product Marketing and Operations.
I used to work with Chamath at AOL; he was GM of AIM and ICQ while I was GM of Netscape. Chamath is brilliant; visionary, thoughtful, charismatic, charming and very, very smart. At AOL he was a tireless advocate for the user experience. It is no accident that at the age of 30 he has achieved so much.
While some who do not know him might question the hire, I have no doubt in my mind why Facebook would want Chamath on their team. He will add a great deal to the company, and Mark pursued him for some time.
On a selfish note, I am also somewhat glad that Chamath is out of the Venture Capital business. I think that had he stayed, he would have been one of the best investors of this generation. Entrepreneurs that I have met hold him in high regard.
Congratulations to Chamath and to Facebook.