Partner, Sequoia Capital, and Board of Directors
Dr. William M. “Bill” Coughran, Jr., is a technologist specializing in large-scale computing and networking systems. His career in computer science spans more than two decades.
At Bell Labs, first as part of AT&T and later with Lucent Technologies, Dr. Coughran was on the technical staff of the Computing Sciences Research Center, then director of the Scientific Computing Research Department within the center, and ultimately became vice president of the center itself. He was responsible for strategy efforts in Lucent’s Communications Software business unit, leading to a role as Internet software vice president and general manager in the Communications Software Group. From 1998 to 2000, he founded and was senior vice president of Bell Labs Research Silicon Valley. In 2000, Dr. Coughran co-founded Entrisphere®, which simplified access networks for large telecommunication service providers and was acquired by Ericsson.
Dr. Coughran joined Google as an engineering director responsible for infrastructure systems in early 2003 and was later named senior vice president for research and systems infrastructure. His responsibilities at Google ranged from client (Chrome) to geo (maps) to video (YouTube) to search (google.com) to core systems and research. For much of his tenure, he served on Google’s executive committee, and he continues to be an advisor to Google.
Dr. Coughran joined Sequoia Capital in October 2011, where he works as a partner and coach to founders and helps them build effective engineering-centric organizations. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in mathematics from Caltech and an M.S. degree and Ph.D. in computer science from Stanford. He has served and currently serves on various academic boards (Caltech’s IST Council, UCLA IPAM Board of Trustees), corporate boards (FireEye, Altiscale, Blue Danube Systems, Luminate Wireless, Cohesity) and non-profit boards (San Francisco Opera, TheatreWorks). He has also held various adjunct and consulting faculty positions at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule in Zurich, Duke and Stanford.
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