People Briefs, October 2011

Moving In

Khosla Ventures added Andrew Chung as the firm’s sixth investing partner, joining founder Vinod Khosla, Samir Kaul, Pierre Lamond, Shirish Sathaye and David Weiden. Chung, formerly with Lightspeed Venture Partners, will focus on cleantech and information technology. At Lightspeed, Chung worked on such investments as Solazyme, Stion, LS9, Coaltek, Leyden Energy, Orbis and Peronalis. Previously, he was at Bain Capital and TL Ventures. Chung’s hire follows the recent departures of Alex Kinnier and Jim Kim from Khosla.

Leo de Luna has joined Split Rock Partners as a principal in its Menlo Park, Calif.-based office. He will focus on identifying, evaluating and managing new later stage and secondary opportunities. He served most recently as a vice president at Saints Capital, a firm specializing in secondary direct investments.

A month after closing its $350 million China fund, GSR Ventures added Yinan Li as a venture partner focused on wireless and Internet deals. Li is well known in China’s tech community, having once served as the CTO for search engine giant Baidu. Most recently, Li was CEO of Beijing Wuxian Xunqi Information Technology Co., which runs China Mobile’s 12580 hotline service. Li resigned from that post in August along with Chairman Tian Tao.

GrandBanks Capital co-founder Ryan Moore will join Atlas Venture as a partner. Moore says he plans to move over in November, after completing a variety of responsibilities with more than a half-dozen portfolio companies. At Atlas, he’ll help recruit entrepreneurs and executives-in-residence.

San Francisco-based Catamount Ventures added James Joaquin as a partner focusing on the consumer Internet and consumer packaged goods sectors. Joaquin has a track record for starting and exiting consumer companies. He co-founded Clearview Software while studying at Brown University. He later formed When.com, which was acquired by AOL. He also served as president and CEO of Ofoto, bought by Kodak.

Claremont Creek Ventures added Brian Berger to its digital health care team as an associate. Dave Lyons also joined the firm, as an entrepreneur-in-residence with a focus on cleantech management and other projects. Lyons is a former director of engineering at Tesla Motors.

Highland Capital Partners has added Sam Brooks as a principal for its European team. Brooks comes to the firm after working with Insight Venture Partners on a slew of investments, including PhotoBox, OverDrive, Groupalia, Mentez, Studio Moderna and 3P Learning.

Mark Peter Davis, co-founder of the social networking startup Kohort and a former associate at DFJ Gotham, has joined High Peaks Venture Partners as venture partner. Davis announced the move on his blog, and said that while Kohort will remain his priority, that he is “excited to help HPVP dive into the NYC market.” High Peaks was one of the investors in Kohort, a social network for groups.

Institutional Venture Partners added Andrew Barr as an associate to focus on later stage investments in the IT and digital media sectors. Prior to joining IVP, Andrew worked at Qatalyst Partners, a tech-focused independent investment bank.

Tony Metzner is joining St. Louis-based venture and small business finance firm Advantage Capital Partners. Metzner has 15 years of experience in finance and risk management at accounting, auditing and consulting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte.

Josh Elman joined Greylock Partners as a principal. Elman most recently was a product manager at Twitter.

Moving Up

Houston-based seed stage firm DFJ Mercury promoted Aziz Gilani to director. Gilani currently works with DFJ Mercury portfolio companies BlackLocus, GameSalad, Graphicly, Infochimps, Koupon Media and ShareThis.

Lightspeed Venture Partners promoted Bipul Sinha and Arif Janmohamed each to partner. Sinha focuses on software and Internet deals while Janmohamed focuses on infrastructure, communications, networking and software.

Moving On

Marco DeMiroz

, who spent more than a year as CEO of Racktivity, the cloud storage-focused startup, is leaving the company to return to his venture capital roots. DeMiroz has joined Partech International, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm.

Michael Hirshland, who joined Polaris Venture Partners in 1999 to focus on Internet investments, is leaving the venture firm to launch a seed-stage fund. Hirshland has largely been the face of Polaris’s earliest stage Internet efforts and represented Polaris on the boards of Automattic, maker of WordPress, Hangout Industries, Quantcast, Sproutbuilder, Thing Labs, KISSmetrics and Lolapps.

Fred Wilson of Union Square Ventures and Bijan Sabet of Spark Capital, two of Twitter’s earliest investors, have left the company’s board of directors, the latest change to the fast-growing social media company’s leadership. It was not immediately clear what prompted the change. Twitter reportedly does not plan to appoint new directors to replace Wilson and Sabet. The departures mark the latest change at the microblogging service, which raised $400 million in a new round of funding earlier this year. In October, Dick Costolo replaced co-founder Evan Williams as CEO. Earlier this year, Costolo brought Jack Dorsey, another co-founder, back to the company as executive chairman.