Chamath Palihapitiya

Founder & CEO

Chamath is the founder and CEO of Social Capital, where he makes big bets on transformational ideas, technology, and people.

Over his investment career, Chamath has managed a diverse multi-billion dollar portfolio, including externally managed funds as well as his own proprietary balance sheet. As a prolific investor, Chamath has honed an ability to repeatedly identify opportunities in technologies and markets before many of his peers. 

Social Capital’s early investments in space technology, artificial intelligence and machine learning, electrification, climate science, and blockchain applications have served as a signal to the rest of the market, resulting in meaningful follow-on capital, talent, and attention to its portfolio companies. It has also allowed the firm to generate consistently high returns across stages, sectors, and market conditions.  


Prior to founding Social Capital, Chamath was an early member of Facebook’s senior executive team from 2007 to 2011, during which time he led the development and launch of new platforms that drove the company’s global growth.

Chamath is credited with creating and leading Facebook’s “growth” team, which at the time employed a novel approach using sophisticated data and analytics to underpin product decisions, a must-have discipline for any technology startup today. During this time, Chamath also became well known as a magnet for talent, scaling teams of hundreds and recruiting and helping develop, as their direct manager, several of Facebook’s core business leaders today, including Javier Olivan (Meta COO), Naomi Gleit (head of product and longest serving Meta employee), Alex Schultz (Meta CMO), and Ray Ko (early Growth team hire and current Partner at Social Capital since2013), among others.

Early life and career

Prior to Facebook, Chamath held roles as both an investor and operator. He was a Principal at The Mayfield Fund from 2005 to 2006. Prior to that, he was an executive at AOL, where he led the instant messaging business and was the youngest VP in the company’s history. Chamath began his career on the trading desk at BMO Nesbitt Burns as a derivatives trader.

Born in Sri Lanka, Chamath immigrated to Canada at a young age where his family was granted refugee status. A product of public schools, he later graduated with a B.A.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.