PHOTO: 12 Of The Most Important People In Silicon Valley Ate Dinner Together …
A key reason why Yahoo’s board hired Marissa Mayer as its CEO was her deep-reaching social and professional connections through Silicon Valley.
Those connections were on display last night at a dinner hosted by Nirav Tolia, a longtime Silicon Valley entrepreneur who’s now running Nextdoor, a local social network.
A prominent guest: Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware and software design.
The interconnections between this group are staggering. Think of how Path’s mobile social network relies on Twitter and Apple, for example; or how Apple once courted Dropbox; or how Marissa Mayer, while at Google, reportedly championed an acquisition of Yelp.
We contacted several attendees or their press representatives.
Stephanie Ichinose, a spokesperson for Yelp, confirmed CEO Jeremy Stoppelman’s attendance: “He was at a dinner with a bunch of execs last night. Nothing more to report.”
No one else has commented on the event.
Below the photo, a list of who came to dinner, from left to right, and how they’re connected.
Trevor Traina, Traina Interactive: The son of San Francisco socialite Dede Wilsey worked at Microsoft and founded several startups. He’s a link between San Francisco’s older elites and the tech nouveau riche.
Dave Morin, CEO, Path: Mayer is an investor in his wife’s startup, Brit Co.
Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter: Costolo seems to be close to Mayer, who invested in Twitter chairman Jack Dorsey’s payments startup, Square.
Dion Lim, education startup CEO: Lim hasn’t revealed the name of his latest venture yet. He’s close to dinner host Tolia; the two cofounded Round Zero, a business-networking group popular in the dotcom era, and Epinions, a product-reviews site.
Nirav Tolia, CEO, Nextdoor: Tolia was the face of Yahoo in the ’90s, frequently appearing on TV to promote properties like Yahoo Finance. He now runs Nextdoor, a private social network for neighborhoods.
Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO, Yelp: Mayer, an early and enthusiastic user of Yelp, tried to buy the local-business-reviews site when she worked at Google.
Michael Birch, cofounder, Bebo: After selling his social network to AOL for $850 million, Birch now focuses on nonprofit efforts like Charity:Water and running a startup incubator.
Mike Cassidy, director, Google X: Google X is the search giant’s secretive skunkworks for projects like self-driving cars and Google Glass, an Internet-connected headset.
Jony Ive, SVP, Apple: After executive Scott Forstall’s departure, Ive gained oversight over Apple’s software design as well as its hardware products. As such, he’s a critical contact for pretty much everyone in the room.
Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo: She has work or personal connections to almost everyone in this room.