Chamath Palihapitiya

Chamath Palihapitiya

Sri Lankan-American businessman who founded Social Capital and serves as its current CEO.

Chamath Palihapitiya is the co-founder of Social Capital and Athos. He is also the CEO of Social Capital and executive chairman of Athos. He lives in Palo Alto, California, United States.

Personal history

Palihapitiya was born in Sri Lanka on September 3rd, 1976. He has two younger sisters. He sought asylum in Canada with his family due to the Sri Lankan Civil Wars. He and his family were already in Canada, because his father, Gamage Palihapitiya, was a civil servant serving in Ottawa's Sri Lankan high commission. After receiving their refugee statuses, Palihapitiya and his family stayed in Ottawa, and often receives social welfare due to their living circumstances.

Palihapitiya then went on to study electrical engineering in University of Waterloo. He met his current ex-wife and Social Capital co-founder, Brigette Lau there, and moved to California with her. He has three children with Lau.

Professional history
Employment

After graduating from University of Waterloo, Palihapitiya joined the investment firm BMO Nesbitt Burns in Canada as an associate. Palihapitiya then moved to the United States and joined Winamp's parent company, Nullsoft, which at the time was consolidated with Spinner. He was hired to manage the product and development aspects of Winamp. He went on to join AOL, the parent company of both Nullsoft and Spinner, and was responsible for the development AOL Broadband, AOL's instant messaging services (AIM and ICQ), as well as Radio@AOL and MusicNet.

Palihapitiya left AOL to work on Facebook after being promoted as one of the youngest vice presidents in AOL. He met Mark Zuckerberg when AOL had a business agreement with Facebook, and Palihapitiya joined the company afterward at the vice president-level, after a stint as a venture capitalist in Mayfield Fund. He was hired to increase Facebook's userbase and user engagement.

Then, Palihapitiya left Facebook to found his own venture capital, Social Capital, where he also serves as CEO. He co-founded the company with his wife at the time, Brigette Lau, alongside Mamoon Hamid and Ted Maidenberg. In September 2018, the firm underwent a restructuring to become a technology holding company, which includes no longer accepting outside funds, and investment decisions are made completely by Palihapitiya.

Palihapitiya also founded a wearable tech company in 2011 called Athos with Chris Wiebe and Dhananja Jayalath. He is still serving as its executive chairman.

Board membership

As of August 2020, Palihapitiya is serving as a board member of remind101 and Syapse. He has also previously served as a board member of Playdom, Lemon, Integrated Plasmonics Corporation, and Agnitus.

Timeline

2012
Palihapitiya co-founded Athos.

Palihapitiya co-founded Athos with Chris Wiebe and Dhananja Jayalath, and is still serving as its executive chairman as of August 2020.

2011
Palihapitiya founded Social Capital and became its CEO.

He co-founded the company with Brigette Lau, Mamoon Hamid, and Ted Maidenberg.

2007
Palihapitiya started working at Facebook.

Palihapitiya joined Facebook on the vice president level, in charge of platform and monetization. Afterwards, he worked on user growth for both mobile and international markets.

2006
Palihapitiya started working at Mayfield Fund.

Palihapitiya worked at Mayfield Fund as a venture capitalist for a year.

2001
Palihapitiya started working at AOL.

Palihapitiya joined AOL as one of its directors after Winamp and Spinner.com's acquisitons by AOL. He stayed in the company until he reached the vice president and general manager positions.

2000
Palihapitiya started working at Winamp & Spinner.com.

Palihapitiya worked on the product and business development department.

1999
Palihapitiya graduated from University of Waterloo.

Palihapitiya studied for an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering.

1999
Palihapitiya started working at BMO Nesbitt Burns.

Palihapitiya worked as one of its associate for a year.

1982
Palihapitiya moved to Canada.
September 3, 1976
Chamath Palihapitiya was born in Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka.

People

Name
Role
LinkedIn

Further reading

Title
Author
Link
Type
Date

2019 Annual Letter | Social Capital

Chamath Palihapitiya

Web

Chamath Palihapitiya - Medium

Chamath Palihapitiya

Web

How Canadian Facebook billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya plans to change the world

Alec Scott

Web

February 23, 2017

How Tech Insider Chamath Palihapitiya Wants to Disrupt Silicon Valley

Katy Steinmetz/Palo Alto, Calif.

Web

July 19, 2018

Social Capital's Chamath Palihap­itiya Wants To Fix Capitalism

Ainsley Harris

Web

February 26, 2018

The Unusual Ambitions of Chamath Palihapitiya

Michelle Celarier

Web

May 31, 2020

Documentaries, videos and podcasts

Title
Date
Link

Chamath Palihapitiya, Founder and CEO Social Capital, on Money as an Instrument of Change

Chamath Palihapitiya: Tesla's push toward renewable energy could make it worth trillions

July 23, 2020

Companies

Company
CEO
Location
Products/Services

News

Title
Author
Date
Publisher
Description
Emily Graffeo
February 24, 2021
markets.businessinsider.com
ReNew Power is an Indian renewable power producer company that is set to merge with special purpose acquisition company RMG Acquisition Corp.II.
Will Daniel
February 13, 2021
markets.businessinsider.com
Chamath Palihapitiya gave a colorful interview featuring quotes about Warren Buffett, the recent GameStop frenzy, and SPACs.
May Teng, Áine Cain and Aman Kidwai
February 11, 2021
Business Insider
"Do you have any questions for me?" is one of the most popular interview questions among business leaders.
Harry Robertson
February 10, 2021
Business Insider
Chamath Palihapitiya shared some "loss porn" with his followers on Tuesday, expressing regret at using bitcoin to buy $1.6 million of land in 2014.
Melia Russell
February 4, 2021
Business Insider
Famed investor Chamath Palihapitiya also shared the workout routine responsible for his chiseled stomach.
Carter Johnson
February 1, 2021
Business Insider
The $250 billion a year auto insurance industry is dominated by players like Allstate and GEICO. Former Uber exec Ryan Graves is betting on Metromile.
Matthew Fox
January 27, 2021
markets.businessinsider.com
Palihapitya said the trade was a learning experience, as he gained a front row seat to the thought process of many retail investors on Reddit.
Alexei Oreskovic
January 27, 2021
Business Insider
In this week's edition of Insider Tech we look at the growing ambitions of tech VCs, as well as an office-in-a-car that's perfect for remote work.
Emily Graffeo
January 27, 2021
markets.businessinsider.com
Palihapitiya told CNBC the 2.7 million users on WallStreetBets are as important to the market as any hedge fund.
Mary Meisenzahl
January 27, 2021
Business Insider
Palihapitiya will donate $500,000, his initial investment and profits on GME.
Grace Kay
January 26, 2021
Business Insider
"California is a mess -- it's too expensive, our teachers are underpaid, and our schools aren't good enough," Chamath Palihapitiya wrote on his site.
Matthew Fox
January 26, 2021
markets.businessinsider.com
Brian Ach/Getty Billionaire investor Chamath Palihapitiya joined Reddit investors and piled into GameStop with a purchase of bullish call opti...
Alex Wilhelm
January 25, 2021
TechCrunch
Latch is an enterprise SaaS company that makes keyless entry systems for buildings; Sunlight Financial offers point of sale financing for residential solar systems.
Emily Graffeo
January 25, 2021
markets.businessinsider.com
Chamath Palihapitiya tweeted he's leading a PIPE in Sunlight Financial, a company that provides solar loans to homeowners.
Emily Graffeo
January 19, 2021
markets.businessinsider.com
Brian Ach/Getty Images for TechCrunch Billionaire Chamath Palihapitiya tweeted on Tuesday that he's working on private funding for a new...
Theron Mohamed
January 14, 2021
markets.businessinsider.com
Getty Images Chamath Palihapitiya could be the next Warren Buffett, according to investor Josh Brown.'He has that aura about him,' the Ritholt...
Carter Johnson
January 12, 2021
Business Insider
As SoFi prepares to go public in a blank-check deal brokered by Chamath Palihapitiya, an SEC registration form filed Monday highlights what to watch.
Will Daniel
January 12, 2021
Business Insider
Commercial electric vehicle maker Proterra is set to merge with blank-check company ArcLight Clean Transition Corp. as the SPAC craze continues in 2021.
Theron Mohamed
January 9, 2021
Business Insider
The Social Capital boss and Virgin Galactic chairman slammed Facebook, defended SPACs, and argued the current market boom won't end in disaster.
Emily Graffeo
January 8, 2021
Business Insider
"The fabric of society is frayed and until we figure out how to make it better it's time to just have a little schmuck insurance on the side," said Palihapitiya.
SHOW MORE

References

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