Twitter alum Michael Abbott joins Kleiner Perkins

Reuters News
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Posted: Dec 01, 2011 2:18 PM
Twitter alum Michael Abbott joins Kleiner Perkins

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Former Twitter engineering Vice President Michael Abbott is joining Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers next week as a partner, the firm said, signaling its commitment to social networks, mobile and the cloud.

Abbott, who also previously led the software team at handheld-device maker Palm, is "mapped so perfectly to the trends taking place in Silicon Valley today," Kleiner partner Ted Schlein told Reuters.

The move comes on the heels of the recent hire of Ray Bradford, a product management principal at Amazon Web Services who handled cloud databases. Bradford joined Kleiner from Amazon.com Inc last week at a level below partner.

Abbott got to know partners at Kleiner when the firm led a $200 million investment in Twitter late last year, he said. John Doerr approached him when he left Twitter in October to join Benchmark Capital as an entrepreneur in residence.

Besides finding good companies to invest in and lending them his product-building expertise, Abbott said a large part of his role will include tapping his network of engineering contacts to help Kleiner portfolio companies find good talent. A severe shortage of engineers has dogged Silicon Valley for the last few years.

Abbott joined Twitter early last year and is credited with helping it solve the challenge of overcapacity stemming from the fast growth that often led to "fail whale" messages when the system could not handle new Tweets.

Kleiner has a $250 million sFund to invest in social media, along with a $200 million iFund to invest in businesses based around Apple Inc.'s iPhone and related products. It closed a $1 billion digital growth fund last year.

(Reporting by Sarah McBride; editing by Andre Grenon)