The cloud guru who helped Splunk close 10 acquisitions and hire 1,200 employees is joining Menlo Ventures as a partner

By Melia Russell

Menlo Ventures has hired away Tim Tully, chief technology officer of Splunk, to power up its cloud investing, Insider has learned.

The newest partner at the Sand Hill Road firm will focus on companies in cloud computing, a $371 billion global market that's exploded as businesses running software on traditional servers move their infrastructure to the cloud.

Tully also will advise on investments in hyper-growth companies out of the $500 million Menlo Inflection Fund.

At 45 years old, Menlo is one of the oldest venture capital firms in Silicon Valley, but it's had a changing of the guard as some of its older partners retired. Four of the firm's 10 partners, including Tully, have joined in the last five years.

Tully is a proven operator like many of his new colleagues. He spent the last four years at Splunk, a big data company, where as chief technology officer he shepherded its transition to the cloud. Tully was closely involved with 10 of Splunk's acquisitions including SignalFx, Omnition, Phantom Cyber, Victorops, and Streamlio, and helped triple the product team from 1,200 employees to 1,800 in less than three years. Splunk has more than 6,000 employees globally.

Splunk shares fell 3.7% after hours on Thursday, after a regulatory filing announcing Tully's resignation was released.

Still, Tully is new to startup investing. He tells Insider that he wasn't able to make angel investments before because his wife, Jess Lee, is a partner at Sequoia. There was a conflict of interest in him investing their personal capital.

"Now that I'll be in venture as well, I can channel that deal flow and excitement into Menlo," Tully said.

He met Matt Murphy, a partner at Menlo, through a mutual friend. They got to know each over over a series of socially distanced walks, outdoor dinners, and Zoom meetings. Murphy says he was impressed by Tully's natural curiosity.

"You could ask him about a company and within a few hours he'll have downloaded the software, tried it, and really give you an insightful response about whether the opportunity is interesting or not," Murphy told Insider. "He is a broad thinker who likes to not just opine but really get a first-hand view of the technology and of course people."

The firm started pulling him into conversations with founders before it hired him, Murphy said. After one such meeting, a founder asked if Tully could join its board. "You rarely get a signal that strong," Murphy said.

Tully's hiring will reinforce its position as a standout investor in business-facing products and services. It has plenty of cash on hand. The firm closed its 15th early-stage fund last year and has $6.5 billion in assets under management.

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