Back in 2004, I got a job at Yahoo!, reporting to Rob Solomon – at the time, he was VP of Yahoo Shopping, Auctions and some other properties that, even then, nobody used from Yahoo.Skipping to 2006, the writing was on the wall, and Rob sat down with me and asked, “I wonder if I’m going to beat you out of here”…yep, the rush to the door had already started then as everybody saw what was happening very clearly under Semel.
While he took over SideStep and ultimately led the team to a nearly $200 million acquisition / merger with Kayak.com, I had the pleasure of helping his team on some marketing initiatives through our company, Asenyo. I have to say that I’m thrilled with the job they all did and consider a few people (Matt, Brian and others) from the team there to be friends. Rob was one of the many undervalued generals at Yahoo that day to day, were getting the job done with a smile. It was a bit of a surprise to see him take a job with a VC firm but ultimately, it was really to sit back and examine the landscap, contemplate where he would head next and strategize more than changing his career. Rob is a leader and I can’t imagine him not building a team and leading them, excitedly, to something bigger.
At Groupon, one of the valley’s most crazy talked about stories, he took the role as President with the company. I’ve seen they acquired Mob.ly (started by former Yahoo Mihir Shah) and Brian Kuntz is there as well, from our Yahoo days and the SideStep team.
After they turned down the Google offer…well, I can’t imagine after already achieving the kind of exit Rob had with SideStep that he’s into the business for anything short of an IPO.