People in the news, Dec. 18, 2006

In memoriam: Al Shugart, tech pioneer, 76

Alan Shugart, co-founder of Seagate Technology and who lately was running the incubator Al Shugart International in Santa Cruz, Calif., died last week from complications suffered from open-heart surgery in mid-October. He was 76.

In 1979, Shugart helped start Seagate, a pioneering hard-drive manufacturer that eventually became a multibillion-dollar company. Before that, he founded Shugart Associates and, in the 1950s, was smong the young IBM engineers to develop RAMAC, the first disk drive.

On the lighter side, in 1996, Shugart once served as a campaign manager for Ernest, his Burnese mountain dog, who was a write-in candidate in the 17th Congressional District race. Shugart took out full-page advertisements and distributed buttons in the dog’s losing bid. Shugart later wrote a book about the experience, “Ernest goes to Washington (Well, Not Exactly).” Ernest passed away about 10 years ago.

Ousted as CEO from Seagate in the late 1990s, Shugart launched his own venture fund with his own money. Shugart International has made a handful of seed deals, according to Thomson Financial (publisher of PE Week).

He is is survived by his wife, Rita, four daughters, a son and seven grandchildren.

Parker joins The Founders Fund

Sean Parker has joined the Internet entrepreneurs at The Founders Fund in San Francisco as a managing partner.

Parker, 27, is most famous for co-founding Napster, the file-sharing website.

Parker was also the founding president of Facebook. Before that, he co-founded and served as president of Plaxo, the popular address book site that now boasts more than 15 million members.

The Founders Fund, led by former PayPal execs, including Peter Thiel, was an investor in Facebook.

Carlyle strengthens hedge fund unit

The Carlyle Group reportedly has hired three staffers from collapsed hedge fund manager Amaranth Advisors. They are Scott Davidson, a structured product portfolio manager; John Bailey, a long/short energy equities manager; and Jaime Gualy. They each will join Carlyle Blue Wave, a hedge fund unit that Carlyle recently began building.

3i calls up Risberg

Jonas Risberg has joined 3i Group as a Stockholm-based partner. He will focus on venture capital opportunities in the IT and communications space. He previously was a partner with InnovationsKapital, where he worked on deals for such companies as NordNav AB, Silecs Oy and Kreatel AB.

Jeton jets over to Apax

Peter Jeton has joined Apax Partners as chief operating officer, after previously having served in a similar position with troubled Boston firm Heritage Partners.

Bessemer hires associate

Philippe Botteri has joined Bessemer Venture Partners as a senior associate in the firm’s Menlo Park, Calif. office. He previously spent eight years with McKinsey & Co., including as a senior engagement manager in its Silicon Valley tech practice.