Benchmark Capital Gains One EIR, Loses Another

Sam Pullara is leaving Yahoo Inc. in order to become an entrepreneur-in-residence with VC firm Benchmark Capital, as first reported by All Things D. He had been the Internet company’s chief technologist. The move becomes official on April 1.

UPDATE: We’ve also been told that current Benchmark EIR Marten Mickos is leaving the firm to become CEO of Benchmark portfolio company Eucalyptus Systems, which is developing an open-source private cloud platform. Expect a formal announcement later today. In the meantime, Benchmark has now issued the following press release on Sam Pullara:

Benchmark Capital, an early-stage technology venture capital firm, today announced that Sam Pullara has joined the firm as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Pullara was most recently at Yahoo! as Chief Technologist, where he was responsible for Yahoo!’s product and technology strategy across the organization. In addition to his time at Yahoo!, Pullara has spent a significant part of his career building successful start-up companies.

“I am very excited to work with Benchmark Capital, and with Peter Fenton again,” said Pullara. “It is an amazing time to be starting a new venture and advising great entrepreneurs. Working closely with exceptional investors and advisors who are deeply committed to the entrepreneur’s success was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up.”

In addition to crafting corporate technology strategy at Yahoo!, Pullara was also involved in M&A and strategic partnership activity while still remaining an active coder. Before Yahoo!, Pullara was CEO of Gauntlet Systems which was acquired by Borland in 2006. Gauntlet Systems was founded while Pullara was an EIR at Accel Partners. Gauntlet was the outgrowth of Pullara’s experience as an engineer at WebLogic, Inc. where he was an early employee and later at BEA Systems after it acquired WebLogic in 1998. Sam is also an active angel investor and startup advisor.

“Sam is one of the few people who can blend deep technical ability with an uncanny business perspective,” said Peter Fenton, general partner, Benchmark Capital. “He’s one of the most talented people I’ve had the opportunity to work with, and we’re thrilled to have him on board at Benchmark.”

About Benchmark Capital

Benchmark Capital, an early-stage technology venture capital firm, was founded in 1995 to help talented entrepreneurs with original ideas build successful technology companies. Benchmark’s general partners take a team-oriented, labor-intensive approach to venture investing to deliver a superior level of service to the firm’s portfolio companies. Benchmark’s portfolio includes high-profile start-ups such as Twitter, Second Life, Yelp, and Zillow, recent exits such as Infinera, MySQL, OpenTable, and Tellme, and franchise companies such as eBay, Juniper Networks and Red Hat. The firm manages nearly $2.8 billion in committed venture capital. For more information on Benchmark Capital, visit its website at