Greylock Forms Dedicated Recruiting Team

Venture firm Greylock has formed a dedicated team to help its portfolio companies recruit talented employees. Jeff Markowitz joined the firm to focus on executive level talent. And Dan Portillo has joined to focus on product and engineering recruiting, the firm announced Monday. Markowitz joins from Heidrick & Struggles, where he was the managing director of the venture capital practice. Portillo joins from Rypple, where he was the VP of customer success.

People are what make companies successful. Easy to say and surprisingly does not always receive the focus it should. We’ve recently invested in putting together a talent team to help our portfolio companies identify the right people, at every level, recruit them effectively and succeed in the battle for talent. Here’s a bit more information about our team.

Jeff Markowitz joined our Menlo Park Office as a Talent Partner focused on executive level talent, Dan Portillo has started as our VP of Talent focused on product and engineering. As we’ve built out the team, our vision has focused on three key areas:

Providing value to the best talent, at all levels, in consumer and enterprise software
Exposing our portfolio companies to the best talent in the marketplace
Helping build HR/Talent skills across our portfolio.

Jeff joins us from Heidrick & Struggles, where he was the Managing Director of the Venture Capital Practice. Jeff will be working side by side with Mike Ahearn, our Recruiting Partner since 2004 who will be retiring in 2012, to continue to optimize our executive talent capabilities. In the past year, under Jeff’s leadership, Heidrick’s venture practice has grown substantially –demonstrating his operating talents both as a recruiter and as a leader. Jeff will bring his executive search experience to our portfolio companies as well as help Greylock build our network of executive talent. We’ve been fortunate enough to work with Jeff over many years, helping us recruit the management teams for our portfolio companies. We believe that we can fundamentally change the value we provide to both our portfolio and to the many talented executives in and outside of our network.

Dan will be helping our portfolio companies win the battle for product, engineering, and recruiting talent. Dan has been recruiting in venture backed start-ups since 2000 and joins us from Rypple, where he was the VP of Customer Success and will continue to be an advisor. Previous to that, he was the VP of Organizational Development at Mozilla, where he worked closely with John Lilly, a Partner here at Greylock and Mozilla’s former CEO. His operating background is a perfect fit for Greylock – all of our partners and all of our operating staff are operators first and foremost. We believe this background allows us to understand our entrepreneurs and find the best ways to help them succeed, without adding overhead.

Some of the initiatives Dan and Jeff are working on:

Build recruiting skills and processes, where needed, in our portfolio. Our first sourcing summit will take place in October (portfolio companies, look for an invite soon).
Connecting portfolio recruiting teams to share ideas, information, and talent – we now have a Linkedin Group for our portfolio companies to get ideas from the team as well as share ideas.
Help us all organize, expand, and leverage our network for great talent.
Place top recruiters in portfolio companies to support ongoing sourcing and recruiting as well as connect to the best recruiting resources.

There is plenty more on the way as the team ramps up. If you are already in Greylock’s portfolio, get ready – you’ll be hearing from them.