Kasich appoints friend to privatize state development department


Gov.-elect John Kasich has appointed a longtime friend and Silicon Valley venture capitalist to oversee the privatization of the Ohio Department of Development.

Mark Kvamme, a partner in the California-based private equity firm Sequoia Capital, will spend about six months reviewing the state agency as part of a transition to Kasich’s Jobs-Ohio group, a nonprofit that the governor-elect envisions handling the state’s economic-development duties.

“Mark has been a friend of mine, and he has been involved … [in] my private life and business,” Kasich said Friday in announcing his selection during a press conference before an Ohio State University business class. “And also, at all times, he and I have spent a lot of time talking together about public policy and the way to do things.”

Kasich said he has known Kvamme since his days in Congress. Kvamme also has donated thousands of dollars to Kasich and Ohio

Republicans — he and his wife gave more than $44,000 to the governor-elect’s election campaign, according to disclosures filed with the Secretary of State.

Kvamme has been a partner at Sequoia Capital for more than a decade; the firm was an early investor in many high-profile Internet businesses, including YouTube, Google, PayPal and Cisco Systems.

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