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Google insider Ben Ling joins Khosla to unearth great Web ventures

May 23, 2013|By Jessica Guynn
  • Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Khosla Ventures.
Vinod Khosla, co-founder of Khosla Ventures. (Peter DaSilva / For The Times )

SAN FRANCISCO -- Khosla Ventures is adding to its roster of top Internet executives with the addition of Ben Ling, a veteran of Google, Facebook and YouTube.

Ling, most recently the chief operating officer at Badoo, has joined the venture capital firm to invest in Internet companies, he said in an interview Thursday.

Khosla has been cleaning up on talent lately. Keith Rabois, the former chief operating officer at Square, recently joined the firm.

Rabois, one of Silicon Valley's best known and most accomplished executives and investors, resigned from Square after accusations of an improper relationship with a colleague emerged. He denied the allegations and no lawsuit has been filed.

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Ling and Rabois share a common trait: They are seasoned executives who have been inside fast-growing companies and have for years invested in them too, earning them a strong reputation as go-to advisers among Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.

Ling has an impressive track record, having invested in, Square and Quora and serves in advisory positions with Pinterest and Pulse. He also has supporters such as Yahoo Chief Executive Marissa Mayer, who in a statement said: "Ben is an amazing entrepreneurial leader and has a great eye as an investor for both talent and ideas.  I'm excited to see him join Khosla Ventures to find and foster the next set of entrepreneurs who will define the technology world."

Ling said he spent quite some time evaluating his next steps but was won over by Khosla Ventures co-founder Vinod Khosla.

"After spending time with the team here, I knew I shared the same vision and philosophy," Ling said.

Khosla said he was thrilled to bring Ling on board.

"He has shown himself to be an effective product executive, as well as a hands-on leader," Khosla said.


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