Principal Mozilla Engineer Mike Hanson Departs, Joins Greylock As EIR

Greylock Partners announced tonight that it has added a new member to its team, with Mike Hanson joining the firm this week as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence. Hanson joins Greylock from Mozilla, where he has been a principal engineer at Mozilla Labs for the last three years, playing a central role in conceiving the company’s distributed identity verification system, also known as BrowserID, and developing APIs and apps for Firefox’s apps platform — among other things.

Prior to Mozilla, Hanson was a principal engineer at Cisco, working on app delivery, particularly device virtualization, clustering, as well as data center strategy. Hanson also co-founded and was the chief architect at Reactivity and spent several years at the Apple Research Lab working on Sherlock, perhaps better known as the precursor to Spotlight. He also counts 16 patents to his name.

Greylock’s former Entrepreneurs-in-Residence include Josh Silverman, the President of Consumer Services at American Express and former CEO of Skype, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner and Google VP of Engineering Venkat Panchapakesan, among others. Michael Callahan, the former CTO of PolyServe, is also currently an EIR at Greylock.

John Lilly, a partner at Greylock and the former CEO of Mozilla who worked with Hanson at Mozilla among other places, penned the firm’s announcement today — which you can read here. Copied below:

It’s with great pleasure that I get to write this post letting you know that Mike Hanson has joined Greylock this week as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence.

He’s what I call an “Anytime, Anything, Anywhere” person: someone who I would drop whatever I’m doing to get a chance to work with him on anything, anytime, anywhere. I’ve been very fortunate to work with Mike many times, dating all the way back to his time at Stanford, where he studied computer science and interaction design.

When he was there, Mike did seminal work on early web search, and worked in some technology for the company that would eventually become Excite. After that Mike worked at the Apple Research Lab on Sherlock (precursor to Spotlight) before co-founding Reactivity with me and a couple of others. He’s worked on startups at the very beginning, but also massive organizations like Apple & Cisco. Most recently he’s been at Mozilla, working on web-scale identity and application systems.

I’m particularly excited he’s come to Greylock now because we’re in such an incredibly fertile innovation period. The widespread adoption of both mobile and cloud technology, and their sudden pervasiveness have created a massive opportunity to reinvent huge industries, and to rethink many of the ways we live our lives and spend time with each other. Mike is an especially perfect person to think through these opportunities because he’s a “full stack” thinker, from deep server-side technologies all the way through to engaging and durable and useful user experiences.

It seems to me that there’s never been a better time to work on “thick innovations” that marry the best of deep technology and amazing user experiences. There are few people in the world who can think like that better than Mike, so we feel very fortunate to have him here at Greylock, thinking about and building the next big thing.