Welcome Home, Garry Tan

by Geoff Ralston8/29/2022

Dear YC Community,

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.

After earning a degree in computer engineering from Stanford, Garry was an engineer at Palantir and then created one of the earliest and best-designed blogging platforms, Posterous. After selling Posterous to Twitter, Garry joined YC as a partner - almost exactly when I also joined PG, Jessica, and co. For the next five years we worked together advising startups. Garry also found the time to build some of the core internal software (including Bookface!) still used at YC. In 2015, Garry left YC to focus on Initialized Capital, the venture fund he co-founded. Over the years at Initialized, Garry showed his investing expertise and continued supporting YC companies. He built a superb team there which will continue investing in great companies while Garry comes back home to YC.

Throughout his career, Garry has impressed everyone around him with his intelligence, his affability, and his desire to get things done or, as he might say, “let’s get building!” And while showing that he is a leader who understands the details of building and running a business, he also demonstrates his extraordinary communications skills, with hundreds of thousands of YouTube followers who watch his many videos on startups, jobs, and life.

My goal has been to cement YC as an institution that will endure for decades – not only through organizational changes but by leading a team that has scaled the community we bring together, the products and capital we provide to startups, and the software we build. Garry, the visionary hacker, designer, and builder who has described how YC is “engraved on his heart” believes in this future and is precisely the right person to take over as YC’s chief executive.

The last decade and more have been transformative for me. There are so many amazing startups I have had the privilege of working with and watching make products people want. And I’ve learned so much from the brilliant people at YC. There are perhaps millions of people who can honestly say PG taught them everything important that they know about startups. I’m one of them. Thank you PG, Jessica, Robert, and Trevor for creating the platform built to help founders figure out how to make something people want.

Garry, you’re up! I can’t wait to watch you lead YC as we continue to fund amazing startups and help founders build the epic companies of the decades to come.

Author

  • Geoff Ralston

    Geoff Ralston is the President of Y Combinator and has been with YC since 2011. Prior to YC, he built one of the first web mail services, RocketMail which became Yahoo Mail in 1997.