Executive moves, week of Oct. 5, 2009

Kai-Fu to advise WI Harper

Kai-Fu Lee

, who last month launched Innovation Works, an incubator for Chinese IT startups, has been named chairman of WI Harper Group’s advisory board. Kai-Fu will advise the firm on trends, strategy and innovative investment opportunities in China, according to a prepared release.

In early September, Kai-Fu resigned as president of Google China to launch Innovation Works, which is funded with $115 million from lead investor WI Harper and several individual investors.

Mickos moves over to Benchmark

Marten Mickos

, founder and former CEO of MySQL, has joined Benchmark Capital as an entrepreneur-in-residence. Following Sun Microsystems’ acquisition of MySQL in early 2008 for about $1 billion, Mickos spent one year as senior vice president of Sun’s database group.

Kurz connects with CCMP

Karl Kurz has joined CCMP Capital as a managing director, and co-head of the firm’s energy investment practice. He also will sit on the CCMP investment committee. Kurz had spent the past nine years with Anadarko Petroleum, most recently as chief operating officer.

Grady joins Thomas Weisel board

Bob Grady

, a partner with The Carlyle Group, has joined the board of Thomas Weisel Partners Group Inc. He joined Carlyle in 2000 and with his appointment to Thomas Weisel, the firm’s board increases to eight members, including seven independent directors.

Gen Cap hires Hammond

Chris Hammond has joined Nashville, Tenn.-based private equity firm Gen Cap America as a vice president. He previously was a principal with Calvert Street Capital Partners.

Castanea names Rayport operating partner

Jeffrey Rayport

has joined Castanea Partners as an operating partner. He previously was a senior partner with Monitor Group, where he founded and chaired a business consultancy called Marketspace.

Chinn named CEO

Daniel Chinn

, a partner with Israel Seed Partners, has been named CEO of Seambiotic, a Tel Aviv, Israel-based developer of marine microalgae for nutraceuticals and biofuel. He will continue to serve as a partner with Israel Seed Partners, which is managing a fund raised in 2000 and has $300 million under management.

At Seambiotic, Chinn replaces the previous CEO Amnon Bechar, who is moving into a new role as COO.

Pappas promotes Linsley

Pappas Ventures has promoted Eric Linsley to managing partner. He joined the health care focused firm in 2000.

Gambale joins Piper Jaffray board

Virginia Gambale

, founder and managing partner of Azimuth Partners, has joined the board of Piper Jaffray Cos.