President-elect Joseph Biden has plucked Ron Klain, a longtime colleague and the current executive vice president of the venture capital firm Revolution, as his White House chief of staff, reports The New York Times.
Klain was Biden’s chief of staff for two years during the Obama administration and left his post as chief of staff in 2011 to fully join Revolution, the firm founded by former AOL chief executive and founder Steve Case.
Case, in a blog post, congratulated Klain for his new appointment saying that "we are sorry to lose him, but we’re more optimistic about getting through the pandemic and building back better knowing Ron will bring his many talents to bear to support the President and serve the nation." Klain had been involved with Revolution on and off since 2005.
If Klain makes his second entrance into the White House, Biden will be bringing on a chief of staff he's known for more than 35 years. The duo first worked together in 1989, when the president-elect was a senator and Klain was a newly graduated law student from Harvard Law School. He most recently worked as the White House Ebola Response coordinator from October 2014 to February 2015, and helped as a debate advisor to President Obama and President Clinton, as well as nominees Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton.
Klain's appointment could pacify some of the presumed tension that could occur between startups and the government under the Biden-Harris administration. Biden has been vocal about pursuing aggressive regulation on the tech industry, which could negatively impact behemoths like Google, Apple and Facebook. Klain has spoken up (in TechCrunch!) about how regulatory hurdles could hinder key innovation in startup-land. Klain also helped lead efforts for Higher Ground Labs, an incubator and accelerator focused on politically-focused (and Democrat-loved) startups. While that likely wouldn't impact Big Tech, it doesn't hurt that, reportedly, one of Biden's closest confidants will have a soft spot for startups.
Editor's note: This story has been updated with a comment from Steve Case, former AOL chief executive and founder of Revolution.