dean2.jpgI’m delighted to report that Dean Takahashi, a veteran tech writer from the San Jose Mercury News, is joining VentureBeat.

Dean is one of the most prolific writers I know. He has written about chips, servers, computers, gadgets and particularly, games, which is his real passion. He wrote the book Opening the Xbox: Inside Microsoft’s Plan to Unleash an Entertainment Revolution (2002), and then The Xbox 360 Uncloaked (2006). Lately, he has increasingly written about start-ups. He wrote more than 70 posts while covering DEMO last week. He knows his stuff, and this is going to be great for VentureBeat readers.

I got to know Dean while working at the Mercury News (I worked there until late 2006, when I left to start VentureBeat). When you meet Dean, he is understated. However, he’s ferocious: He wrote two blogs at the Merc, in addition to his two or so columns a week for the Merc’s print edition. That’s how he earned the nickname “Dean the Machine.” Dean also worked for the WSJ in the late 1990s.

The Mercury News announced Dean’s departure internally this morning; he’ll be starting at VentureBeat in about three weeks. VentureBeat has formalized several other positions lately (as suggested by the bylines), and I’ll be introducing the rest of the team shortly.