So Long TC, And Hello GV

I thought hard about this post, but time didn’t make it any easier to write. After five-and-a-half years at TechCrunch, I’ll be joining Google Ventures as an operating partner.

I am ready for a new challenge. When people ask me about what I love most about my job, I have the same response: “I am so lucky to be able to tell the stories of founders.” It’s this passion for telling the stories of entrepreneurs that led me to Google Ventures.

I can’t reveal many details right now, but we have an exciting vision for creating something that has never been developed within a VC firm. It’s an opportunity for me to help build something from scratch and stretch myself in new ways. Check back later this summer, after I’ve had a few weeks to get settled and develop this new role. I look forward to sharing more soon!

Having covered Google Ventures for the past five years, it’s clear that Bill Maris, David Krane and their team have a truly unique take on the future of investing, and how they can help every entrepreneur live his or her dream of creating a billion-dollar-plus company.

I would also add that GV has been able to snag a number of former TechCrunchers, including MG Siegler and Laura Boychenko (so I won’t feel too far from my former home in GV’s offices in Mountain View and South Park).

Five-and-a-half years ago, I cold-emailed Michael Arrington asking for an internship at TechCrunch. I wrote that as a recent journalism school grad, I knew journalism’s frontier was online, and that I would work for free (which probably wasn’t the right thing to write to a potential new employer, but oh well).

A month later, then TechCrunch CEO Heather Harde replied and said they could actually pay me (hooray!) and would I like to start in January. I showed up to Arrington’s home in Atherton three weeks later and the first TechCruncher to greet me was his beloved and sweet chocolate lab, Laguna. My first thought was, this is a good omen.

And it was. That day in January was the beginning of an amazing ride that brought me more professional satisfaction, life-lasting friendships and overall happiness than any other job I had previously. I never understood the meaning of the words “I love my job” until I began to blog for TechCrunch.

TechCrunch has been an amazing place to begin my writing and video career, and I’ve been fortunate enough to work with incredibly talented writers and editors. Sure, there have been days where I probably wanted to quit, but those days also taught me what type of job is worth fighting for: a job that gives you the freedom and opportunity to break major acquisition and funding news; interview some of the best and brightest CEOs, founders and VCs in our industry; and, most importantly, tell the stories of founders and how they are changing the world with their ideas.

And I know that the current editorial team, under the strong leadership of Alexia Tsotsis and Matthew Panzarino, is going to continue scooping, breaking news and writing insightful work.

Thank you to Michael, Heather, and Erick Schonfeld for taking a bet on me (and paying me as an intern!) and thank you to Eric Eldon, Alexia and Matthew for your leadership, support and friendship.

My last thought goes out to the entrepreneurs, readers and the greater TechCrunch community, which makes us thrive. Thank you for being my sounding board, mirror and my inspiration over the past five-and-a-half years. Sometimes we’ve disagreed, but you have continued to make me a better writer and have helped me find my true passion.

You can follow me at my Twitter account @leenarao.