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New head of CIA's venture operations: Christopher Darby

inqtel4.jpg
In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the CIA, has hired Christopher Darby, a veteran executive with experience building companies and a background in Web security, as its new chief executive.

Darby gave brief interviews with VentureWire (sub required), and the Washington Post (registration required). In-Q-Tel informed us yesterday of the move, but our schedules were such that we didn't connect with Darby.

Since the above links won't work for some of you, here's the skinny: Darby comes to the CIA position after several changes over the past year. Gilman Louie, who was very present here in Silicon Valley, left to launch his own venture capital firm here (we'll let you know when the firm opens its doors), and then Amit Yoran was in the In-Q-Tel spot for less than four months, replaced in April by interim CEO Scott Yancey.


"I'm an operator at heart," Darby said in an interview with the Post. "I've been hired over the years to nurture and build companies." He said he wants to stay in the post for a while.

This is not a Silicon Valley guy (scroll down). He joins In-Q-Tel from Intel, but was only at Intel for a year, after Intel had acquired his Illinois company, Sarvega. He was CEO of Sarvega, which supplied "XML networking and security products." Before that, Darby was chairman and chief executive of Cambridge, Mass.' @stake, an Internet security consulting company acquired by Symantec. Before that, he was president and CEO of Interpath Communications.

We don't know much else. Let us know, in comments, if you have any insights about Darby, and what sort of things he may or may not do over here in the valley, given all the hoopla about Web privacy lately.


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Comments

Darby is a coup for In-Q-Tel. We at Bessemer were invested in Sarvega, and so we saw him in action. Through strong recruiting, good strategic moves, and effective business development, Darby turned the company around and saved our investment.

David Cowan on August 29, 2006 3:39 PM
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