For quite some time, renowned venture firm Kleiner Perkins Caulfield & Byers has been looking for a partner who can focus on investing in web startups, we’ve been hearing.
Now they’ve finally found somebody. Chi-Hua Chien, an associate at Accel Partners who has spearheaded a number of web-related initiatives, has joined Kleiner as a partner.
Chien will be focusing on investments in “internet applications, mobile applications, online advertising technologies, and enabling internet infrastructure,” according to an email about his departure intercepted by Megan McCarthy at Wired.
Kleiner has a profile of Chien up on their site, that says he has been on board since last year.
As an Accel associate and “venture advisor,” Chien helped bring about Accel’s investment in Facebook and AdECN — the former company recently received a huge investment from Microsoft and the latter company was acquired by it. He has also worked on the firm’s investments in BitTorrent, fbFund, Glam, Trulia, and YuMe Networks, according to the profile.
[Update II: We’ve learned a little more. Chien was an associate at Accel, which in Accel’s case is not a partner track position, and not a role where he could lead investments. Also, the associate role at Accel is designed as a limited-term engagement which Chien had completed. Our understanding is that he is on a full-partner track at Kleiner. Finally, see Matt’s comment below, suggesting the switch was more amicable than our headline’s wording implies.]
He previously held marketing and financial roles at Coremetrics, worked in corporate development at Google, business development, and had business development roles at eCoverage and Morgan Stanley’s Technology Group.
[Update I: Comment below refers to how a “partner” at Kleiner means something different from Accel. The venture world is arcane, and firms don’t make it any easier because the exact nature of each partner’s arrangement in a firm is usually confidential. Accel has been poached before. In 2006, Peter Fenton left Accel to join Benchmark, and Jim Goetz left to Sequoia two years before. Much has been made of Benchmark’s model of extreme democracy among partners, and word was that Fenton left Accel for that reason, i.e., to be an equal partner rather than a junior partner at Accel. However, Accel has since moved to promote its junior partners more aggressively. It’s not clear why Chien would have left to join Kleiner, which had been advertising for an “associate partner” position, i.e., a junior partner. We’re trying to find out more.]