In October, AllThingsD reported that Twitter VP of engineering Mike Abbott was leaving the company to be an entrepreneur in residence at Benchmark Capital (Benchmark and Twitter both confirmed the move). It looks like that position only lasted a month, as Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers has just announced that Abbott has joined the firm as a partner on its digital team.
At Twitter, Abbott (who joined in April 2010) led the company’s engineering efforts and helped the team from 80 to more than 350 engineers. Abbott’s team mainly focused on rebuilding and solidifying Twitter’s infrastructure.
In a release, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said, “Mike is a huge engineering talent and will be a terrific asset to Kleiner’s technology companies. He was instrumental in helping us scale Twitter’s architecture to support incredible growth ̶ from 100 million daily Tweets in January 2011 to about 250 million daily tweets today.”
Prior to Twitter, Abbott was Palm’s head of software and services and led the software development team at Palm that created HP/Palm’s next-generation webOS platform. Previously, he was general manager for .NET online services at Microsoft, where he led efforts to deliver a services platform that enabled the development of large-scale Internet-based services. He also co-founded consumer marketing software startup Passenger and founded enterprise information integration software company Composite Software. He’s also advised Cloudera, Hearsay, Saynow and Jawbone.
As Kleiner explains, Abbott has a deep background in social and mobile applications and infrastructure, and is an expert in enterprise infrastructure and cloud computing and “big data” businesses. At the venture firm, Abbott will join as a partner of the digital team, focusing on investments in startups in the social, mobile and cloud arenas. Kleiner says that Abbott is just the third senior KPCB partner added in three years, joining Bing Gordon and Mary Meeker.
“Mike is an exceptional and well-respected leader with an outstanding track record shipping great products,” said Ted Schlein, partner, KPCB. “Mike’s deep expertise from Palm and Twitter will help social, mobile and cloud entrepreneurs win.”
Obviously, Abbott’s time at Benchmark was surprisingly short, and it’s unclear why there wasn’t a good fit. Perhaps Abbott realized he wanted to be a full-fledged investing venture partner as opposed to building another business.