It is my pleasure to announce that Josh Silverman is joining Greylock Partners as an Executive-in-Residence. Josh has rapidly scaled and helped run some of the most innovative companies, including American Express, Skype, eBay and Evite, and will bring a wide set of skills and expertise to Greylock. He will wrap up his work as the President of Consumer Products and Services at American Express at the end of the year and will be officially joining Greylock in January 2016.
Greylock’s history with Josh runs deep. Back to the late 1990s, Josh was CEO and co-founder of Evite, which was one of David Sze’s first consumer Internet company investments. David joined the Evite board and they worked closely on scaling the company together (culminating in an acquisition by Barry Diller and IAC.) I first met Josh in 2000 when I was at PayPal and Josh was CEO of Evite. It was clear to me after my first conversation with Josh that I would always look for ways for us to work together.
Josh is a seasoned executive with a remarkable ability help companies get to scale quickly. After his time with Evite, Josh went on to join eBay. He had several executive roles with eBay, making his name initially by identifying the opportunity in the Online Classifieds space, and building a leading pan-European business in under two years. He also served as CEO of Shopping.com, which eBay had recently acquired.
In April 2008, Josh joined Skype, where he re-energized the then-flagging company. Under Josh’s leadership, Skype transitioned from being voice-centric to video, doubled its user base and tripled its revenue, expanded to mobile phones and TVs, and struck breakthrough partnerships with other leading companies, including Facebook and Verizon. Josh also led the spinout of Skype from eBay in November 2009 and stayed on the lead the company for another year following. Microsoft announced its acquisition of Skype for $8.5B a few months later.
We kept in the touch throughout the years and, in 2010, Josh joined Greylock for the first time as an Executive-in-Residence. He worked closely with companies in the Greylock portfolio, consulting on business strategy and growth.
Josh spotted the opportunity in financial services early on and joined AMEX at a pivotal time, with a mandate to ‘digitize the core’, launch new products and expand the relevance of the brand. After four years, Josh has made a great impact on the company, resulting in revenue and profit growth far ahead of the market for his business unit. Josh (and his team) drove a culture of innovation, introducing iconic new products for a broader range of customers, world-class CRM and digital marketing capabilities, and significantly accelerating its lending business.
Because of the global, networked age, technology companies need to outmaneuver more competitors than ever before. To do it, companies need to scale at lightning fast speed. Josh is the rare executive who knows how to do just this, and we know that during the time he spends with us at Greylock, he will be an asset to many of Greylock’s portfolio companies. His focus will be on helping the entrepreneurs in our portfolio think through the challenges of scaling, globalization, disruption, teamwork/culture and leadership.