Last week, however, the blog ran an entry containing a fabricated story. The entry was meant to embarrass Jimmy Wales, an entrepreneur we backed two years ago. If there is such a thing as an Internet celebrity, Jimmy is surely one of them, so he is accustomed to being attacked by web "journalists" -- particularly those at The Register, where they seem to attack him on a daily basis. If he read the Valleywag piece, I'm sure he just shrugged it off. But since the piece referred to me, I would like to set the record straight.
A few months after we invested in his company, Jimmy transitioned from CEO to full-time executive Chairman, and he and I were fortunate to recruit Gil Penchina, a long-time eBay executive, to assume the CEO role. Valleywag reported some nonsense about Jimmy getting fired because of a bogus expense report. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
If it weren't enough that Jimmy founded Wikipedia and Wikia, he impressed me even more so a few weeks ago when he volunteered to forgo his Wikia salary to maximize the company's flexibility during this lousy economy. I wonder how many Valleywag staffers would ever consider such a sacrifice.
I hope Valleywag continues to entertain readers with witty observations and curious photos, but I wish its writers would substantiate offensive claims before clicking the "publish" button. I wonder how many times I have laughed at fabricated Valleywag stories in the past. Now I know to laugh but not to believe.