| SAN FRANCISCO
SAN FRANCISCO Feb 8 Flipboard, the high-profile
tablet app-maker, has hired Hulu's former chief technology
officer to be Chief Executive Mike McCue's No. 2.
Eric Feng, currently an executive at Sand Hill Road venture
capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, said Friday he
would oversee engineering and strategy at the startup, which has
raised more than $60 million in venture financing and makes a
popular app for reading news and magazine articles.
"Mike first identified the proliferation of mobile devices
and re-imagined what the Web could be," Feng said, adding that
his experience at Hulu, which had to negotiate distribution
deals with television studios, will be relevant at Flipboard.
Feng's addition could also signal the startup's intent to become
a serious video player.
McCue, a veteran entrepreneur, first announced Feng's hire
on Thursday on the Fox Business Channel.
Dubbed in its early days as a potential revenue source for
traditional print publishers, Flipboard launched with fanfare in
May 2010, when its servers crashed under the rush of new users.
Since then, the company has largely stayed out of the
spotlight, prompting speculation in the Valley over whether it
can live up to the initial hype.
Aside from Kleiner Perkins, Flipboard's mostly media-centric
backers include Index Ventures, Twitter founder Jack Dorsey,
former News Corp executive Peter Chernin and media
investment banker Quincy Smith.
Feng's move recalled the 1990s, when Kleiner Perkins
famously cultivated a close-knit network of loyal executives who
were deployed to the firm's portfolio companies.
In recent years, the firm has revived the strategy of
cross-pollinating its talent pool to recapture its glory days.
Last year, Emil Michaels, a former top executive at Tellme
Networks, the company McCue founded in 1999, took the No. 2 job
at Klout, another Kleiner portfolio company.
"I love Mike, the team of investors involved, and still
being a part of the Kleiner family," Feng said.