A key reason why Yahoo’s board hired Marissa Mayer as its CEO was her deep-reaching social and professional connections through Silicon Valley.
Those connections were on display last night at a dinner hosted by Nirav Tolia, a longtime Silicon Valley entrepreneur who’s now running Nextdoor, a local social network.
A prominent guest: Jony Ive, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware and software design.
The CEOs of Twitter, Yelp, Path, and Dropbox were also there.
Mike Cassidy, a director of the Google X skunkworks, posted a photo of the dinner on Facebook. A source alerted us to its presence.
The interconnections between this group are staggering. Think of how Path’s mobile social network relies on Twitter and Apple, for example; or how Apple once courted Dropbox; or how Marissa Mayer, while at Google, reportedly championed an acquisition of Yelp.
We contacted several attendees or their press representatives.
Stephanie Ichinose, a spokesperson for Yelp, confirmed CEO Jeremy Stoppelman’s attendance: “He was at a dinner with a bunch of execs last night. Nothing more to report.”
No one else has commented on the event.
Below the photo, a list of who came to dinner, from left to right, and how they’re connected.
Photo: Mike Cassidy via Facebook
Drew Houston, CEO, Dropbox: Steve Jobs tried to buy his online file-storage company.
Trevor Traina, Traina Interactive: The son of San Francisco socialite Dede Wilsey worked at Microsoft and founded several startups. He’s a link between San Francisco’s older elites and the tech nouveau riche.
Dave Morin, CEO, Path: Mayer is an investor in his wife’s startup, Brit & Co.
Dick Costolo, CEO, Twitter: Costolo seems to be close to Mayer, who invested in Twitter chairman Jack Dorsey’s payments startup, Square.
Dion Lim, education startup CEO: Lim hasn’t revealed the name of his latest venture yet. He’s close to dinner host Tolia; the two cofounded Round Zero, a business-networking group popular in the dotcom era, and Epinions, a product-reviews site.
Nirav Tolia, CEO, Nextdoor: Tolia was the face of Yahoo in the ’90s, frequently appearing on TV to promote properties like Yahoo Finance. He now runs Nextdoor, a private social network for neighborhoods.
Jeremy Stoppelman, CEO, Yelp: Mayer, an early and enthusiastic user of Yelp, tried to buy the local-business-reviews site when she worked at Google.
Michael Birch, cofounder, Bebo: After selling his social network to AOL for $850 million, Birch now focuses on nonprofit efforts like Charity:Water and running a startup incubator.
Mike Cassidy, director, Google X: Google X is the search giant’s secretive skunkworks for projects like self-driving cars and Google Glass, an Internet-connected headset.
Jony Ive, SVP, Apple: After executive Scott Forstall’s departure, Ive gained oversight over Apple’s software design as well as its hardware products. As such, he’s a critical contact for pretty much everyone in the room.
Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo: She has work or personal connections to almost everyone in this room.
Bret Taylor, CEO, Quip: The former CTO of Facebook is now running a stealth startup.
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