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.
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.
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.
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.
Palihapitiya co-founded Athos with Chris Wiebe and Dhananja Jayalath, and is still serving as its executive chairman as of August 2020.
He co-founded the company with Brigette Lau, Mamoon Hamid, and Ted Maidenberg.
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.
Palihapitiya worked at Mayfield Fund as a venture capitalist for a year.
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.
Palihapitiya worked on the product and business development department.
Palihapitiya worked as one of its associate for a year.
Palihapitiya studied for an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering.
2019 Annual Letter | Social Capital
Chamath Palihapitiya - Medium
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Documentaries, videos and podcasts
Chamath Palihapitiya, Founder and CEO Social Capital, on Money as an Instrument of Change
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