Not every investor can overshadow one of the world's biggest entertainers, but McNamee's roots in tech investing run that deep. In the 1980s, he managed T. Rowe Price's Science & Technology Fund. He later helped launch Integral Capital Partners, a partnership with venture capitalists Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers that pioneered the crossover investment strategy. In 1999, he co-founded Silver Lake Partners, the first private equity fund focused on technology companies.
Since 2004, McNamee has focused his efforts on Elevation Partners, a private equity firm with a focus on media, technology and entertainment companies. The firm counts U2 frontman Bono as one of its co-founders and managing directors, as well as Fred Anderson, a former Apple chief financial officer. With about $1.9 billion under management, Elevation's portfolio companies include Yelp, Forbes and Move, a network of real estate websites.
McNamee is the author of The New Normal: Great Opportunities in a Time of Risk and is a touring musician with the band Moonalice.
Born: May 2, 1956, Albany, NY
Lives: San Francisco area, CA
Education: Yale University, B.A.; Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, MBA
Relationship to Facebook
Not every Elevation investment has paid off (see: Palm), but its $120 million purchase of Facebook stock from private shareholders in 2010—on top of a smaller 2009 investment—is making the firm look like a rock star. At the time, the deal valued Facebook at $23 billion. Now, that 2.2 percent stake could be worth as much as $1.4 billion. Think Bono still hasn't found what he's looking for? Go ask Moonalice.
Current Occupation: Managing Director, Elevation Partners
Former Occupation: Silver Lake Partners, Integral Capital Partners