Benchmark Adds EIRs

Benchmark Capital has added four entrepreneurs-in-residence: Rob Beardon, former CEOO of OpenSpan and JBoss; Lewis Cirne, founder of Wily Technology; Dan Finnegan; senior VP at Yahoo, in charge of HotJobs; and Keith Krach, a former Benchmark EIR who later co-founded Ariba. Benchmark recently closed its sixth fund with around $500 million. 



Benchmark Capital, a leading early-stage high-technology venture capital firm, today added four technology executives to the firm. Three were named Entrepreneurs in Residence (EIRs), including Rob Bearden, who held senior executive positions at JBoss, Red Hat and OpenSpan; Lewis Cirne, the founder of Wily Technology; and Dan Finnigan, a senior vice president at Yahoo!, responsible for HotJobs. In addition, Keith Krach, who served as Benchmark's first EIR in 1996 prior to co-founding Ariba, will serve as CEO in Residence. All four executives will assist Benchmark companies across the portfolio.

“For 12 years our EIR program has allowed us to forge close working relationships with world-class entrepreneurs like Rob, Lew, Dan and Keith, whose talents, experience and market insights are truly inspiring,” said Bob Kagle, general partner at Benchmark. “By bringing seasoned executives into the firm to found new businesses or work with our portfolio companies, everyone benefits. They understand the challenges of running a start-up, and demonstrate by example what it takes to build, manage and lead fast-growth technology companies.”

As EIRs, Mr. Bearden will evaluate new open source business opportunities, Mr. Cirne will concentrate on open source and web infrastructure companies, and Mr. Finnigan will focus on advertiser-supported consumer Internet services. Mr. Krach will work closely with individual entrepreneurs to help them develop the leadership skills necessary to compete and win in today's complex and dynamic global business environment.

“I have enjoyed a long relationship with Benchmark, and look forward to contributing my time and talents to work with some of the impressive entrepreneurs in its portfolio,” said Mr. Krach. “We all know there is no shortage of bright, creative individuals in the technology industry, but few have the leadership skills required to take their ideas from concept to market leadership. I have been very fortunate throughout my career to have strong mentors, and I look forward to providing that same level of guidance to others.”
Following is a brief summary of each executive's background: