Garry Tan to become Y Combinator President and CEO


Startup accelerator Y Combinator named Garry Tan, a co-founder at seed investment firm Initialized Capital, its next CEO and president.


Tan will be taking over the role from Geoff Ralston, who has been with YC since 2011. Ralston did not say what’s next for him, only writing: “I am leaving YC, but I’m not actually the retiring type and am looking forward to some to-be-discovered adventures.” Tan, however, will continue to serve as founder and partner at Initialized — a $3.2 billion fund — “with no changes to his current role” until the transition takes place next year.


By selecting Tan to lead YC, the accelerator’s board brings one of its most prominent alumni back into the fold. Tan and Ohanian started investing as Initialized in 2011 while still partners at YC, before stepping away to focus on the firm full time. (Ohanian later departed to launch a new VC firm, Seven Seven Six, last year.) But Tan’s ties to the accelerator have remained deep: The internal directory he built, cheekily called Bookface, remains a key piece of the network that YC offers its entrepreneurs.


Geoff Ralston wrote:

Today we announced that I am stepping down from my role as YC’s President and CEO at the end of this year. I am leaving YC, but I’m not actually the retiring type and am looking forward to some to-be-discovered adventures. Although the time is right for me to leave and I’m sad to move on from YC, I am excited to announce that Garry Tan will be YC’s next President and CEO.

We have an amazing organization and it deserves a fantastic leader, so let me explain why I am so confident that YC will thrive under Garry’s leadership. All of us at YC know Garry well. He was a YC founder in the summer of 2008 and is both a terrific hacker and a brilliant designer. Garry is also one of the most trustworthy, kind, and likable people I know.