Papadopoulos Finds New, More-Targeted Role At NEA

Call me out of touch, but I hadn’t realized Greg Papadopoulos joined New Enterprise Associates as an entrepreneur in residence last year.

His new role as a venture partner and advisor to portfolio companies (announced Monday) seems a better match for his skills.

Papadopoulos (pictured) has accumulated a broad range of experience in his 16 years at Sun Microsystems and should be able to apply that learning. He was most recently director of its $2 billion research and development operations, and before that worked at Hewlett-Packard and at several startups he helped found.

This broad diversity of experience should make him an invaluable advisor to NEA portfolio companies on topics of technology development and market strategies, as NEA hopes. And it comes on the heels of other high-profile venture appointments, including Meg Whitman’s advisor’s role at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

“When Greg joined NEA as an EIR last year, we couldn’t wait to see what he would do next,” said NEA General Partner Scott Sandell.

Papadopoulos says that the venture business is like hitting the long ball instead of singles and doubles. “It’s the difference between making a 15 percent net contribution vs. looking at a 10-times return,” he told the San Jose Mercury News.

Papadopoulos has a bachelor’s degree in systems science from the University of California, San Diego, and master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT. He helped found the PC company Ergo, fluid dynamics startup Exa Corp. and PictureTel.

Welcome (again) to NEA.