Screw You, Benioff

It’s late Tuesday evening and the TechCrunch office is mostly deserted. I was finishing off a few things and preparing for tomorrow when Steve Gillmor, my friend, mentor and the founding editor of TechCrunchIT walks in.

“I’ve got some news and I had to talk to you in person about it.”

Damnit. I knew right then I wouldn’t like the “news.” And sure enough, he’s taken another job. Starting monday he’ll be on the senior team (senior as in high level, not as in old) at Salesforce. Founder Marc Benioff recruited him directly.

“You bastard.” (I tend to take these things personally)

Now I know why Benioff has been writing regular guest posts for us. It’s because he’s feeling guilty over stealing Steve from us, obviously.

Of course I’m also happy for Steve, and the new job is a terrific opportunity. And graciously Steve has agreed to continue writing every week or so for us, and of course you can follow him on Twitter at @stevegillmor. In some ways things will remain the same with us and Steve.

But it’s still a sad day at TechCrunch. I was listening to Steve on the Gillmor Gang long before I ever started TechCrunch. And I miss the old days when Steve, Dave Winer and I used to meet for breakfast in Burlingame most weekends.

You can read all of Steve’s posts on TechCrunchIT over the years here. He’s been a technology journalist for something like 30 years, back almost to the beginning of, well, tech reporting. And I’m not exaggerating when I say that Steve has forgotten more things than I’ll ever learn.

Steve doesn’t bother much with details, he goes right at the big trends. And he’s usually right. Way before most other people are. Controversial? Yes. Long winded? Yep. Occasionally non linear in his thinking? Understatement. But he’s also brilliant, and he’s always guided me towards rightness.

We recorded a short exit interview video for posterity. Good luck, Steve. I hope to see you around the office regularly.