Executive moves, week of June 22, 2009

SoftBank’s Hippeau joins Huffington Post

Eric Hippeau

, managing partner of SoftBank Capital and former CEO of Ziff-Davis, has been named CEO of The Huffington Post. He replaces Betsy Morgan, who is leaving the company after fewer than two years on the job.

SoftBank is one of the venture backers in the political blog, along with Greycroft Partners, Oakstone Venture Partners and undisclosed individuals. Hippeau, who joined SoftBank in 2000, is credited with helping Huffington Post secure its initial VC financing in 2006. The website, co-founded by Arianna Huffington, has raised $35 million in funding to date, much of it from SoftBank.

With his move, SoftBank loses one of its six partners and one of its two managing partners. Hippeau will remain a special partner and continue to serve on the boards of three SoftBank portfolio companies. The firm’s third fund, a $232 million fund raised in 2004, is mostly committed, and the firm last year raised $100 million in commitments for a new fund.

“We had commitments to a new fund last year, but our sense was that it was better for us to focus on our 26 current portfolio companies,” says Managing Partner Ron Fisher. “For Eric, this is a terrific opportunity for him to build a very large and successful company, which would benefit all of our investors.” —Dan Primack

Wilska joins BlueRun

Kari-Pekka “KP” Wilska, a telecom executive who spent decades working at Finnish cell phone maker Nokia Corp., has left his job as a venture partner for Austin Ventures to join BlueRun Ventures. At Austin Ventures, he served on the boards of 724 Solutions, BrightPoint, Mavenir Systems, Paragon Wireless and PulseWave RF. Prior to joining Austin Ventures in 2005, Wilska spent more than 20 years with Nokia.

BlueRun was launched 11 years ago as Nokia Venture Partners with Nokia as its sole limited partner, but now operates independently. The firm recently raised $240 million for its fourth fund.

NewOak adds vice chairman

Shad Qurashi

has joined NewOak Capital as vice chairman and head of business development and strategy for the firm’s advisory, asset management and capital markets businesses. He previously was joint head of UBS’distressed real estate workout group.

Krogstad joins MMV Financial

Jon Krogstad

has joined MMV Financial as a Palo Alto, Calif.-based senior vice president responsible for business development in the Western United States. He previously was at Vencore Capital, which provides debt financing to early stage companies.

Green crosses over to Bridgepoint

Stephen Green has joined European private equity firm Bridgepoint as a partner. He will serve as head of the European private equity firm’s financial services team succeeding six-year veteran John Davison who the firm said is leaving to pursue other interests. Green previously led the global financial and business services team for Apax Partners.