Bruce Gibney, the Founders Fund partner who criss-crossed the country raising its fourth fund of $625 million, has left the firm, multiple industry sources confirm. Details of why he departed are unavailable at this time, but we understand he’ll be going to work at a holding company or a portfolio company. Gibney championed the Founders Fund philosophy that startups should change the world, not just build a business.
Sources say that Gibney’s exit has been in the works for weeks, and he’s no longer with Founders Fund despite still being listed as a partner on its website. Gibney hung back from much of the firm’s investment activity, and was brought in specifically to help it raise its last fund. He also put together Founders Fund’s participation in TaskRabbit’s $13 million Series C in July of this year.
Gibney was an early investor in PayPal, which is how he got close to Founders Fund’s eventual head honcho Peter Thiel, the payment company’s co-founder. After PayPal was acquired by eBay, Thiel offered Gibney a job at his new hedge fund Clarium Capital. There Gibney advised Thiel in support of his early $500,000 investment in Facebook, which turned into a massive windfall. You can learn more about the relationship between the two in this profile by Asian Venture Capital Journal.
In the valley, Gibney was known as extremely smart and in possession of keen marketing skills. A year ago he told our editor Alexia Tsotsis that “the complexity of the problems we face as a species may exceed our ability to solve them.” By pushing startups towards big ideas, and pushing Founders Fund to bank roll them, Gibney hoped to solve them and etch his name in the history books.
Gibney once told AVCJ that “At the end of my career, I’d like to point to five or six companies where the CEO believes I contributed something more than just capital – even if it’s just one terrific piece of advice. That’s what would make me happy.”
You can watch Gibney’s talk with Alexia about Founders Fund’s philosophy below.