Ex-Twitter engineer Mike Abbott joins Kleiner Perkins

December 2, 2011, 12:00 AM UTC

VC firm nabs man responsible for endangering the Fail Whale.

Mike Abbott is joining venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers as a senior partner in its digital media group, less than two months after stepping down as vice president of engineering at Twitter.

When Abbott originally left Twitter, he joined Benchmark Capital as an entrepreneur-in-residence. But he quickly bailed when Kleiner came calling.

“It’s a better fit because I’ll have a broader role of being able to do investments as well as helping to service entrepreneurs as they build their companies,” Abbott says. “That and the fact that the focus areas here are ones that I have deep passions in.”

Ted Schlein, head of Kleiner’s digital practice, adds that Abbott will focus on early-stage opportunities in social, mobile and the cloud. He also might participate on some later-stage transactions.

Prior to joining Twitter in 2010, Abbott led the software development team at Palm responsible for webOS. Before that, he was general manager for Microsoft’s .NET services (later known as Azure), and was a founder of both Passenger Inc. and Composite Software.

Abbott declined to discuss the circumstances surrounding his departure from Twitter, except to say that he thinks company CEO Dick Costolo is “doing a great job.”

In other Kleiner Perkins news, the firm has recruited Ray Bradford away from Amazon (AMZN), where he was a general manager of Amazon Web Services with a focus on cloud database infrastructure. Back in 2009, Bradford was an intern at Twitter (pre-dating Abbott’s arrival).

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