Keeping Tabs On The Facebook Mafia

Flush with cash from their days at the social network, many of the companies early employees are leading a new generation of start-ups. Here’s an update on who’s doing what.

Many of Facebook’s early employees and key individuals flush with cash from their time at the company have gone on to start other companies.

It’s much like the days of the “PayPal Mafia,” when that company’s founders and employees went on to find rampant success as investors and further entrepreneurs following the company’s sale. Companies like Slide, which sold to Google, LinkedIn, and Tesla Motors came from some of PayPal’s luminaries.

The jury is still out as to whether the next generation of Facebook companies will end up with the scale of LinkedIn and Tesla Motors. Some of the companies founded by Facebook alumni have already sold (or been offered) big money. Others have fallen flat.

Here’s a selection of some of Facebook’s alumni and investors that have gone on to a second venture.

2. Sean Parker tried another start-up.

Steve Jennings / Getty Images

Following up involvement in a number of other start-ups like Spotify, early Facebook president Parker started a video chat company called Airtime. It hasn’t gone so well. Parker is also an active investor and participates in Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund.

3. Facebook Platform engineer Charlie Cheever is off doing…something.

Joe Corrigan / Getty Images

Cheever helped build Facebook’s platform, and then went on to start Q&A site Quora with fellow Facebooker Adam D’Angelo. He then left the company last year — details about his departure were pretty sparse.

4. Early Facebooker Matt Cohler is now a partner at Benchmark Capital.

Flickr / Robert Scoble / Via Flickr: scobleizer

Cohler has invested in Path, a start-up run by Facebook alumnus Dave Morin, as well as a host of other Facebook alumni-run start-ups. He serves as a board member on Asana, run by Facebook graduate Dustin Moskovitz, and Quora, run by Facebooker Adam D’angelo. He also served on the board of Instagram, which went on to be bought by, you guessed it, Facebook.

5. Co-founder Dustin Moskovitz is running a task-management start-up.

Araya Diaz / Getty Images

Moskovitz runs an enterprise-oriented task-management start-up called Asana. He’s also a pretty active angel investor, having invested in Path — also run by former Facebooker Dave Morin — and a few other companies.

6. Early Facebook CTO Adam D’Angelo now runs a Q&A start-up.

D’angelo also invested a large amount of his own money in Quora as part of its last fundraising round. Adam D’Angelo also invested in Instagram, which was subsequently bought by Facebook for what was $1 billion at the time.

7. Dave Morin runs a more personal social network.

Max Morse / Getty Images

Another early Facebook Platform creator, Morin now runs a start-up called Path — a mobile-only social network that caps your friend group to 150 people. The app has more than 10 million registered users, but is often under fire for privacy issues. Morin is also a very active angel investor.

8. Facebook CTO Bret Taylor has another new start-up.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images

A tech veteran from both Google and Facebook, Taylor left Facebook in the middle of last year after being at the company for three years. He’s starting another company, as many former Facebookers are, though the details aren’t all public yet.

9. Early investor Peter Thiel is now paying people to drop out of college.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Thiel still sits on the board at Facebook, having sold much of his stake, and now runs a firm called Founders Fund. He also runs a program where he pays under-20 “Thiel Fellows” $100,000 to skip college and start building a company. He also invested in the most recent funding round of ex-Facebooker Adam D’Angelo’s Quora.

10. Yishan Wong is now CEO of Reddit.


Wong is both a PayPal and Facebook alumnus, having spent nearly a decade collectively at the two companies. He took over Reddit last year, and is also a very active early user of Quora.

11. Former COO Owen Van Natta is basically hanging out.


Van Natta spent some time as chief operating officer of Facebook, but he has a long history of swooping into companies that are growing quickly. Most recently, he spent time at Zynga ahead of its IPO, helping with the company’s strategy, before leaving late 2011. Right now, he’s listed on LinkedIn as a “father.”

12. Chris Hughes bought The New Republic.

Flickr / USV / Via Flickr: unionsquareventures

Facebook co-founder Hughes bought a majority stake in The New Republic last year, becoming its publisher and editor-in-chief.

13. Justin Rosenstein, another early engineer, went on to co-found Asana with Moskovitz.

Flickr / Mari Smith / Via Flickr: marismith

Rosenstein was the tech lead for projects including the “like” button and Facebook Page. Rosenstein is one of a number of Googlers Facebook was able to pull in from the search giant.

14. Long-tenured Facebooker Chamath Palihapitiya now runs a venture capital fund.

Flickr / TechCrunch / Via Flickr: techcrunch

Serving at Facebook as a VP of growth for four years, Chamath is one of the longest-tenured senior executives to come out of the company. He’s also a very active angel investor, most notably investing in Yammer, which sold to Microsoft for more than $1 billion.

15. Reid Hoffman is a very active investor and partner at Greylock.

Stephen Lam / Reuters

Another PayPal alumnus, Hoffman set up the first meeting between Peter Thiel and Facebook’s founders, and made a small investment alongside Thiel. He has investments in more than a dozen start-ups, most recently in Jelly, the new start-up from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.

16. Early Facebook product engineer director Aditya started another company that was promptly bought by Dropbox.

Flickr / TechCrunch / Via Flickr: techcrunch

Aditya now serves as VP of engineering at Dropbox, an online storage service worth billions of dollars, as a result of the company acquiring his start-up Cove. He brought fellow Facebooker Ruchi Sanghvi to Cove, and then subsequently to Dropbox.

17. Facebook data guru Jeff Hammerbacher has another data start-up.

Flickr / mecredis / Via Flickr: fcb

Hammerbacher basically helped build the data team at Facebook and now runs a start-up that has raised more than $100 million in venture capital.

Via Flickr: techcrunch

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