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Longtime Facebook VP Mike Vernal Joins Sequoia Capital

TechCrunch TechCrunch 18/04/2016 Connie Loizos

Mike Vernal, a Facebook VP who has spent the last eight-plus years at the company, most recently leading its search, profile, local, and developer platform product groups, is leaving the company to become a venture capitalist at Sequoia Capital.

Before joining Facebook, Vernal spent nearly six years at Microsoft, first as a product manager as later as a development lead.

The Harvard grad (two degrees), wrote in a tweet this afternoon that “Facebook is an exceptional company with amazing people. Thank you to Mark and everyone at @facebook for the past eight years. I’ll miss you.”

Vernal joins 10 other partners in Sequoia’s Menlo Park office.

One of those partners is Bryan Schreier, who joined Sequoia in 2008 as a senior director at Google. In an email provided to us by a Sequoia spokesman, Schreier writes that, “You don’t recruit people like Mike. They choose you and we are thrilled to have him join.”

Schreier says the firm got to know Vernal through his work with fostering startups when he was leading Facebook’s platform initiatives. “His experience scaling engineering, product, and design teams at Facebook will be invaluable to Sequoia founders working to build similarly transformative companies.”

Indeed, like all Sequoia partners, Vernal is expected to be a generalist but it’s likely he’ll be focusing on consumer and developer tech to start.

Sequoia recently parted ways with another longtime partner, Michael Goguen, when it was revealed that he was being sued in one of the more explosive lawsuits to hit Silicon Valley in a while.

Sequoia’s West Coast partners are exclusively male, though it employs one female investment analyst, Stephanie Zhan, who has worked previously at Google, Andreessen Horowitz, and Nest Labs.

Sequoia’s chairman, Michael Moritz, was roundly criticized last year, when during an interview with Bloomberg’s Emily Chang, he said Sequoia is working hard to find more women to hire into its ranks but that it isn’t willing to lower its standards toward achieving that end.

Sequoia Capital China has two female partners. Sequoia Capital India has also long had one female investor and a female principal.

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