Foursquare’s vice president Tristan Walker, perhaps one of the company’s most public faces–along with Denveen and engineering lead Harry Heymann–just announced his departure from the company on his personal blog. That’s the second early employee to depart from Foursquare since Naveen Selvadurai was defoundered in March. Mr. Walker, who lives in Palo Alto and was Foursquare’s first employee in the Bay Area, will be headed to Silicon Valley powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
We guessing this time around, he didn’t get the gig with an “awesome, awesome” fanboy letter to Marc Andreessen.
In a statement emailed to Betabeat, Foursquare wrote, “Tristan’s big thinking and drive have been invaluable assets to foursquare over the last few years. His work has helped solidify foursquare as a strong marketing tool for brands and a data-driven loyalty platform for merchants. We know he’ll continue to do incredible things with our friends at Andreessen Horowitz.”
On his blog, Mr. Walker discussed his experience at Foursquare, thanking cofounder Dennis Crowley:
Once in a lifetime, if you’re lucky, you nail your dream job. It happened to me a little over two and a half years ago when I walked onto the 5th floor at 36 Cooper Square. From day one, the opportunity at foursquare enabled me to think big, take risks, re-imagine what’s possible … and following an incredible journey, I have decided to resign from foursquare to pursue my next big dream.
The past two and a half years spent with the foursquare team have been nothing less than life-changing and it has left me incredibly thankful and inspired. It’s been an amazing experience to watch us grow from 3 to over 100 and my love for the company runs deep – it always will.
I am extremely proud of the hand I had in shaping foursquare’s future and helping us with a bunch of first-evers for the company and industry as a whole. I thank Dennis for his incredible support, partnership and friendship every step of the way.
Mr. Walker’s new role is notable in part because he is one of the few high-profile entrepreneurs to speak out about diversity issues in tech investing and startup culture. A miniseries by Soledad O’Brien called “Black in America: The New Promised Land: Silicon Valley,” recently explored the idea of whether pattern-recognition (the assumption that the next big thing will come from a 20-something white male) has led to an institutional bias within the industry. Around that time, he told CNN, “There aren’t very many folks who look like me in positions of leadership all around the Valley and I think that’s something that needs to be discussed and hopefully changed.”