Matt Cohler

US computer programmer, entrepreneuer an
Matt Cohler, vice president of strategy and operations, Facebook, poses on 21 January 2008 in Munich, southern Germany, on the sidelines of the DLD (Digital, Life, Design) conference for digital innovation, science and culture. AFP PHOTO DDP/OLIVER LANG GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read OLIVER LANG/AFP/Getty Images)OLIVER LANG AFP/Getty Images
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To hear Cohler tell it, his career success is the result of several fantastic opportunities. But that’s just part of the story. As one of the earliest employees at Facebook and LinkedIn, Cohler played significant roles in the growth of both social networks — and became fabulously wealthy to boot. (His Facebook shares were worth a reported $680 million at the IPO.) When he joined Benchmark Capital in 2008, he became the youngest general partner at the venture capital firm. Now New York City–bred Cohler is cementing his rep as a bigshot, backing promising startups like Instagram, Dropbox, and Asana, and using his experience and connections to advise and recruit talent for them. Near miss: Cohler toyed with becoming a professional musician, but figured he wasn’t good enough to make it. –J.P.M.