Executive moves, week of May 12, 2008

Theis Scales up

Rob Theis has joined Scale Venture Partners as a managing director, months after ending an eight-year run with DCM. Theis was on vacation last week and unavailable for comment. He officially begins at Scale on May 19.

Theis is one of Silicon Valley’s well-regarded venture capitalists, with a technology infrastructure and applications focus that includes such recent DCM exits as NeoPath (which was acquired by Cisco) and VanceInfo (which went public). He was named a 2007 “Superstar of Venture Capital” by TheFunded.com. He also championed Adam Aircraft, a carbon-composite jet manufacturer that went bankrupt after raising $182 million in private equity funding. Both Theis and DCM’s David Chao said that plans for his departure began in May 2007, long before the fall of Adam Aircraft.

“My understanding is that Rob chose to leave [DCM] because the firm was focusing more and more on investments in Asia, and he wanted to keep focusing on the U.S.,” says Kate Mitchell, a managing director with Scale. “We obviously looked at all his past deals, and really think we’ve added a great investor.”

Doll deemed NVCA chairman

The National Venture Capital Association last week named Dixon Doll, co-founder and general partner of Menlo Park, Calif.-based DCM, as its chairman. Doll’s chairmanship was announced at the 2008 NVCA Annual Meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Santa Clara, Calif. He succeeds Ted Schlein, partner of Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who has completed his one-year tenure as NVCA chairman.

In addition to Doll, the NVCA named six new members to its board: Jim Fleming, partner of Columbia Capital; Stephen Holmes, general partner of InterWest Partners; Deepak Kamra, general partner of Canaan Partners; Jack Lasersohn, general partner of The Vertical Group; Trevor Loy, managing partner of Flywheel Ventures; and Ray Rothrock, managing general partner of Venrock. Each will serve a four-year term.

Current board member Terry McGuire, managing general partner of Polaris Venture Partners, was named chairman-elect of the NVCA to succeed Doll next year.

Gandhi goes to Accel

Sameer Gandhi

has joined Accel Partners as a partner in the firm’s Palo Alto, Calif., office. He previously was a partner with Sequoia Capital. His new job comes less than two weeks after Gracenote, one of the investments he oversaw at Sequoia, was acquired by Sony Corp. of America for more than $250 million.

At Accel, Gandhi will focus on the consumer Internet and the software sectors.

Highway 12 ramps up with two hires

Miles Mahoney

and Glenn Michael have joined Highway 12 Ventures as general partners. Mahoney previously was with SAS as vice president of global alliances and channels. Michael has been a serial CFO and COO, including his most recent role as CFO of Preco Electronics.

NEA adds partners

Tony Florence

and Paul Walker have joined New Enterprise Associates as partners in the firm’s growth equity practice. Florence previously was head of East Coast tech banking with Morgan Stanley, and will focus on IT opportunities. Walker was a general partner with MPM Capital and focuses on biotech and life sciences opportunities.

Cardinal hires Aguallo

Robert Aguallo Jr.

has been named a managing partner of the Cardinal Americas Fund, a $150 million private equity fund focused on the infrastructure space. He is the former general manager of the Los Angeles City Employees Retirement System.

Matrix hires reporter

Erika Brown

has agreed to join Matrix Partners as director of marketing and business development, after having the past decade covering venture capital for Forbes magazine.

Palamon adds CFO

Gary Pritchard

has joined Palamon Capital Partners, a European mid-market private equity firm, as chief financial officer. He previously was with Catlin Group, most recently as CFO of its U.K. division and head of finance operations.

Singh joins Carlyle

Devinjit Singh

has agreed to join The Carlyle Group as a managing director focused on Indian buyouts. He most recently was head of Citi’s India M&A business.