May 12, 2015 · 1 minute

Spark Capital announced today that its has hired Kevin Thau as its newest general partner based in its San Francisco office. Thau has had a relationship with the VC firm since his days working for both Twitter and the Biz Stone-founded Jelly.

Thau was the vice president of business and corporate development while at Spark-backed Twitter. In a blog post today, Spark's Bijan Sabet said "My partners and I have known Kevin for nearly 10 years, having served on a board of directors at one of Kevin’s companies for pretty much the entire time we have been in business at Spark. In many ways we grew up together in this business."

In his post, Sabet also pointed out the role Thau played in building strategic partnerships with mobile operators after Twitter changed its SMS policy in 2008, and the vital role he took in building a partnership between Twitter and Apple. After Twitter, Thau became the chief operating officer in another Spark investment, the photo search and question asking app Jelly.

While based in Boston and with an office in New York City, Spark only recently opened up shop in San Francisco. Thau will join Nabeel Hyatt as one of the first members of the Spark team to be based at its Silicon Valley branch. Although it has largely operated in the East Coast, Spark has backed quite a few West Coast companies including Twitter, Oculus VR, and Slack, among others.

The move to expand operations in California continues a long trend of Boston-area venture capital firms building larger presences in San Francisco. Greylock, Highland Capital, CRV, and a few others all started in Boston and eventually moved most of their operations — and then pretty much all in a couple of cases — to Silicon Valley. Although Spark has said in the past that it doesn't have a lot of interest in moving the majority of its firm out West, it should be interesting to watch the expansion to California play out over the next ten years.

[photo by Joi Ito]