Slideshow: Now You See Him, Now You Don’t (the CEO, That Is)

2011 will likely be remembered for its bubbly valuations. But plenty of startup employees may wind up recalling it as the year that their company’s top dog was kicked to the curb or else stepped aside to make room for someone better suited for the challenges ahead.

Etsy staffers will be among them. Today, the online marketplace for handmade goods revealed in a blog post that CTO Chad Dickerson has replaced Etsy founder Rob Kalin as CEO. (AllThingsD was first to notice the post, in which Dickerson smartly thanked Kalin for dreaming up Etsy, as well as for hiring him.)

It isn’t yet clear whether Kalin wanted to stay or go, but he’s now been in and out of the CEO’s (presumed) cubicle twice. In 2008, Kalin handed the management reins to Maria Thomas, NPR’s longtime digital head before coming to Etsy. By late 2009, he was back, and she was gone.

Following are some others who this year have gone from managing, to having time for Mah Jong.

Social Scene: Khosla to Give Away Half of Fortune, Kvamme Moving to Columbus (Huh?), Bussgang Hangs with SEAL Team 6, More

In this week’s Social Scene, Eric Schmidt is building fancy new digs for his personal VC firm; Joanna Rees has convinced Reid Hoffman, Marc Pincus and others to back her bid to be mayor of San Francisco; Vinod Khosla says he will donate half of his fortune to charity; Mark Kvamme is moving to Ohio (seriously!); Jeff Bussgang hangs with the famed SEAL Team 6, Robert Simon, Eric Wright and Katja Gehrt all have birthdays coming up, and more.

Schmidt in building mode

Onetime Google CEO Eric Schmidt is building out the “entire top floor” of a building in downtown Palo Alto, Calif., for his personal investment firm, Tomorrow Ventures, reports Peter Delevett of the San Jose Mecury News.

Delevett spoke to a commercial real estate broker who speculated

Gas Prices Are High, But VC Interest in Travel-Related Startups Is Still Strong

With gas prices at multi-year highs, long-distance travel is getting less affordable than it’s been for a while. But that apparently hasn’t lessened venture interest in startups in the space.

There were two travel-related funding announcements so far this week. Oktogo.ru, an online hotel booking service for Russians traveling abroad, raised $5 million from Mangrove Capital Partners, ABRT and French fund Ventech VC. Meanwhile, London-based HouseTrip, which specializes in short-term apartment bookings for travelers, raised $2.7 million in a Series A funding round from Index Ventures. (See a list of half a dozen other recent fundings on the jump.)

Those were smaller deals. But with vacation home rental site HomeAway in the pipeline for an IPO, it’s now possible to get a glimpse of larger numbers in a fast-growing space. (HomeAway, which is seeking to raise $230 million in its public offering, had revenue of $153 million and net income of $17 million last year.) Additionally, the recent viral growth of Airbnb, a site for arranging short-term stays in accommodations, ranging from living room futons

Google’s Schmidt Sees Signs of Internet Bubble — Report

ZURICH Feb 10 (Reuters) – There are clear signs of a new internet bubble in corporate valuations, Google’s Chief Executive Eric Schmidt said in an interview with a Swiss magazine on Thursday.

Asked about the high valuations being put on companies such as social network company Facebook and game developer Zynga, Schmidt said in an interview with Bilanz: “There are clear signs of a bubble … But valuations are what they are. People believe that these companies will achieve huge sales in the future.”

The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that Google, Facebook and others have held low-level takeover talks with Twitter, valuing the company as high as $10 billion.

Asked whether he planned to stay another four years at Google to collect stock awards worth $100 million, Schmidt said: “Yes, that is my plan.”

Eric Schmidt the New Oprah? Stranger Things Could Happen

Earlier today, the New York Post reported that according to CNN insiders, Eric Schmidt is interested in becoming a television personality. The Post further reported that Schmidt — who announced last week that he’s stepping down from his CEO post and becoming Google’s executive chairman — has already filmed a pilot with CNN television producer […]

335 Views

Background of Eric Schmidt’s Biz Partner is Real Thriller

Google CEO Eric Schmidt has taught a class on entrepreneurship and venture capital at Stanford University, but one might wonder whether he did his own due diligence when it comes to TomorrowVentures, a Palo Alto-based venture firm that is regularly cited as Schmidt’s personal investment vehicle.

Indeed, a simple Google search suggests that TomorrowVentures’ managing partner, 38-year-old Court Coursey, whose bio cites “numerous successful companies,” is more controversial than he might seem at first blush. Not only does his background also include numerous failed startups but at least two lawsuits, including against pop star Michael Jackson.

3 Comments

Live From the Google (Ventures) Plex

Google Ventures came out of semi-stealth mode this week, revealing its entire investment team for the first time. It also today hosted a roundtable for journalists, from which I kept sending Dan email and text message reports. He assembled them below (thanks, Dan). – Google CEO Eric Schmidt says Google Ventures is an effort to diversify […]

Google’s Eric Schmidt: I Might Step Off Apple’s Board. Eh, or Not.

Earlier today, at the annual weeklong retreat organized by banker Herb Allen in Sun Valley, Google CEO Eric Schmidt told reporters that he’ll soon talk about his role as an Apple board member with Steve Jobs and the rest of his board colleagues. Though some would say that conversation is long overdue, the impetus for […]

3 Comments

Schmidt To M&A Market: Call Me When You’re Cheaper

In the more-bad-news-for-VCs file, the cash cow known as Google has been deliberately inactive on the the M&A front because it’s waiting for “prices to get better,” according to CEO Eric Schmidt. Silicon Alley Insider reports that Schmidt told the Morgan Stanley tech conference conference today that Google’s M&A activity is “pretty inactive right now” because “we’ve largely been waiting for prices to get better.”

Yes, you read that right. The company that had $15.85 BILLIOn in cash, cash equivalents, and short-term marketable securities as of Dec. 31, is worried that it’s going to overpay for a startup.

PEHUB Community

Join the 12500 members of peHUB to make connections, share your opinion, and follow your favorite authors.

Join the Community

Look Who’s Tweeting

Psst! Got any hot tips?

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

PE HUB News Briefs

RSS Feed Widget

Marketplace

VCJ Headlines (subscribers only)

RSS Feed Widget

Buyouts Headlines (subscribers only)

RSS Feed Widget

Reuters VC and PE feed

RSS Feed Widget