Google Ventures’ Wesley Chan is stepping down from his role as General Partner to see how the other half lives. Chan will become an entrepreneur-in-residence at Google Ventures, with the goal of eventually building his own company.
An MIT CS major, Chan was one of the first couple hundred Google employees and led multiple projects there, most notably Google Voice, Google Toolbar and Google Analytics.
Chan has been a Google employee for 12 years and built the seed program at Google Ventures, bringing on superstars like Kevin Rose and TechCrunch columnist MG Siegler to bolster Google’s early-stage investments. As a GP, Chan led the AngelList Series B, the Firespotter series B and the Crittercism series B. He also led the seed round in Parse, which was recently acquired by Facebook.
Chan chalks up following the entrepreneurship bug to a cycle of doing something new every four years. He gave us, and Dan Primack, basically the same level of detail about what he’d be actually working on, “Stay tuned.”
“It’s been four years at Google Ventures and I’m ready for my next adventure,” he said. “At the end of the day I need to give myself time to focus on it.” Other Google EIRs have included Craig Walker, the founder of Firespotter and UberConference, and Stacy Brown-Philpot, COO of TaskRabbit.
When asked if Google Ventures had already invested in Chan’s new gambit, Managing Partner Bill Maris said, basically, not yet. “He’s been a huge part of the culture here and he’s done a lot of great things here, we’re happy to get behind him.” (Maris tells me that the “E” in Google Ventures’ EIR can stand for entrepreneur or executive.)
With Chan’s absence, Google Ventures, which was the most active venture fund in Q3 according to the WSJ, goes from 11 investment partners to 10, with no plans to replace Chan for the sake of replacing him. “We promote on merit,” Maris said, emphasizing that Chan leaving will not alter the course of their successful seed program at all.
Illustration: Bryce Durbin