SoftBank’s Hippeau Joins HuffPo…It Was Inevitable

One of my favorite lines this past season on NBC’s “30 Rock” came from character Jack Donaghy, played by Alec Baldwin, who was told by nurse Elisa, played by Salma Hayek, that he should go see a doctor.

“Thank you for telling me what I already know,” he says. “You should work for The Huffington Post.”

With that one-liner in mind, I’d like to tell you all something that Huffington Post already knows: Eric Hippeau, managing partner of SoftBank Capital and former CEO of Ziff-Davis, will replace current HuffPo CEO Betsy Morgan as the company’s new CEO, it was announced today.

Here’s a link to Hippeau’s bio on the SoftBank website, which lists his multiple board seats.

SoftBank is one of the major investors in HuffPo, along with Greycroft Partners, Oakstone Venture Partners and undisclosed individuals. The Thomson Reuters database reports that New York-based HuffPo, the political blog co-founded by Arianna Huffington, has raised $35 million in funding to date, much of it from SoftBank.

By the way, Morgan is leaving the company after fewer than two years on the job.

Dan Primack reported three years ago that Hippeau was the reason why HuffPo raised VC. At the time, HuffPo was not seeking to raise any VC, but Hippeau was scouring the land for an interesting media-related deal and helped to broker the investment between Huffington and SoftBank.

“A large part of our decision [to raise capital] had to do with Eric,” Huffington said three years ago when the company raised a $5 million round that was led by SoftBank. “We were getting someone who was very knowledgeable about new media and where we wanted to take it.”

Apparently, that is still true.