1. Funny or Die raises $15M, despite chance of latter
2. Did White House lead rejection of California’s emissions claims?
3. Redhat CEO Matthew Szulik resigns
4. Startup.com’s Tuzman to save Roo.com
5. Netsuite’s stock soars past $35
6. Cisco’s Charles Giancarlo, leaves to Silver Lake Partners
7. Jacked, online sports service, raises $6.5M
8. Top 10 Seattle-area tech stories of the year
9. Miasole reportedly lays off 40 workers
10. Ausra’s proposed 177MW plant is approved
Funny or Die raises $15M, despite strong chance of latter — Being funny is hard, but Will Ferrell made his career from it. That’s probably why Sequoia Capital and others have trusted Funny or Die, a startup project between himself and co-founder Adam McKay, with another $15 million. Here’s the problem: With 30 writers and only one big hit (The Landlord), we’re not so sure that “Funny” is a strong enough business plan to nurture this particular web baby. Portfolio has the full story.
Did White House lead denial of California’s right to regulate greenhouse emissions? — See here.
Redhat CEO Matthew Szulik resigns, replaced by Jim Whitehurst, former COO of Delta Airlines — CNET reports.
Online video company Roo.com lays off fifth of staff, and now appoints Kaleil Tuzman to take over — Roo was accused of mismanagement, board members were forced out, and an executive was indicted for money laundering and felony. Now Tuzman, the former CEO of the bubble era GovWorks.com, who was embodiment of excess during the Internet bubble, as captured in the documentary Startup.com, has taken over.
Netsuite’s stock opens $26, and roars past $35 on first day of trading — The company is now valued at $2.1 billion. Oracle CEO Larry Ellison and his family own more than 70 percent of that.
Cisco Systems’s number two, Charles Giancarlo, leaves to Silicon Valley private equity firm, Silver Lake Partners — He was the heir-apparent to Chairman and CEO John Chambers, and he helped manage some important mergers, such as WebEx, and put in 14 years of service. But with Chambers set to stay between three and five more years, Giancarlo’s itch finally got too great. “I went home one day and talked to my wife and said, ‘Honey, I now know what you mean by a biological clock.'” In February, Cisco also lost Mike Volpi, another senior executive, who left to to join a start-up. (Forbes has details.)
Jacked, a service that runs stats, news and photos beside online sports programming, raises $6.5M — The Santa Monica, Calif. company’s first round was led by Core Capital Partners and Gabriel Venture Partners, with participation from Provenance Ventures. It announced a deal to provide its service on NBCSports.com
The top 10 Seattle-area tech stories of the year — Seattle Post-Intelligencer reporter John Cook keeps a close eye on his city, and he’s assembled a list of the area’s top 10 stories of the year. Included are briefs on the area’s year in venture funding (the best since the dotcom bubble), strong results by Clearwire and Imperium Renewables, retreats from Jobster and Isilon, and more.
Miasole reportedly lays off 40 workers — Three disgruntled ex-employees revealed to VentureWire that solar CIGS maker Miasole recently laid off 40 of its staff. The story isn’t new, though; Back in October, CNET floated the same rumor, only to be told by Miasole CEO David Pearce that it was just a few contractors. The company itself isn’t currently responding to inquiries about the layoffs.
Ausra’s proposed 177MW plant is approved — We reported a month ago that solar thermal company Ausra is planning a 177 megawatt generation plant in California’s San Luis Obispo county, but the tricky hurdle of gaining regulatory approval for the plans remained. The bureaucrats have now given it a thumbs-up.