James Slavet says he has been trying to recruit entrepreneur Josh McFarland for eight years. That’s just two years after Slavet joined the early-stage venture firm Greylock Partners as a partner in 2006.
Apparently, Slavet’s charm offensive is finally paying off. The firm is announcing today that McFarland is becoming Greylock’s 10th partner. (There are now 19 people altogether on its investing staff.)
It’s not such a giant leap for McFarland, who knows the firm well. When Greylock first approached him years ago, he was a product manager at Google. At the time, he was less interested in becoming a junior VC than in starting a company of his own, so Greylock invited him to become an entrepreneur-in-residence.
Not long after, he and Mark Ayzenshtat — another senior software engineer brought in from Google to become an EIR — co-founded TellApart, an adtech company that sold to Twitter in April of last year for $479 million. It had raised just less than $18 million from investors.
Ayzenshtat began spending time as an entrepreneur-in-residence at Social Capital beginning in 2014. McFarland has meanwhile stayed put at Twitter, serving as its VP of product and doing a limited amount of angel investing.
In fact, according to Greylock, McFarland will stay at Twitter until the end of the first quarter, at which point he’ll become a VC with the firm full-time.
As for what comes immediately afterward, Slavet says that Greylock encourages new partners to spend time with other experienced partners, collaborating on new investments and helping existing portfolio companies. “Given Josh’s experience as an operator and his history with Greylock,” Slavet adds, “we anticipate that he’ll get up to speed quickly.”
Greylock partner Josh Elman was also a product manager at Twitter before joining Greylock in 2011. He joined as a principal; he was promoted to partner in 2013.