SAN FRANCISCO, April 10 (Reuters) – As the wrangling over
immigration reform intensifies in the U.S. Congress, the tech
industry is lobbying hard to raise the limit on H-1B visas,
which allow non-U.S. citizens with advanced skills and degrees
in “specialty occupations” to work in the country for up to six
Demand is so great that the annual cap of 65,000 was hit
last week, just days after the application period opened.
Technology companies support raising the H-1B quota almost
five-fold, to 300,000, arguing universities are just not turning
out enough American math and science graduates and they need to
cast their net abroad to stay competitive.
WASHINGTON, April 8 (Reuters) – A U.S. visa program ran a
lottery on Sunday to award 85,000 slots for high-skilled workers
just one week after the application period opened, the U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Service said, signaling companies
feel confident enough about the economy to hire more foreign
The USCIS held the lottery to approve petitions for the
slots after it received approximately 124,000 H-1B petitions
last week, including petitions filed for holders of advanced
degrees from U.S. universities. The USCIS started accepting
petitions for the visas just a week ago, on April 1 and stopped
accepting them five days later because of high demand.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – BP Ventures will continue to expand beyond alternative energy to more mainstream energy investments, said Issam Dairanieh, BP Ventures’ director of global ventures.
The venture arm of the oil and gas giant BP (BP.L: Quote, Profile, Research) made its first refining and processing investment two years ago and its first exploration and production investment last year, Dairanieh told Reuters in a telephone interview.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Access to one of California’s most exclusive strips of sand will soon become easier as a Malibu homeowner settles a decade-long legal battle that will result in a paved path to Carbon Beach, better known as “Billionaire’s Beach.”
The mile-long sandy strip boasts beach getaways owned by record mogul David Geffen, former Dodgers Chief Executive Jamie McCourt, and Oracle Chief Executive Larry Ellison. It also has been home to many movie stars, including John Travolta, Courtney Cox and David Arquette. Top architects including Michael Graves and Richard Meier built many of the residences.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A prominent Silicon Valley venture capitalist has stepped into the middle of a long-standing controversy over a California tradition: open access to the state’s famed beaches.
In a lawsuit filed this week, the Surfrider Foundation, a coastal protection group, alleges that the owner of a beachfront property south of San Francisco has violated the law by closing an access road that has long been used by local surfers and fisherman to reach a spit of sand called Martin’s Beach.
SAN FRANCISCO, March 8 (Reuters) – Three executive
assistants are suing venture firm CMEA and one of its former
partners for harassment and retaliation, marking the third
lawsuit in less than a year alleging unfair treatment of women
in Silicon Valley’s clubby world of venture capital.
The suit, filed in San Francisco Superior Court of
California last month, alleges then operating partner John Haag
repeatedly made inappropriate sexual comments to the women,
sometimes in front of other partners who mostly did nothing to
stop his behavior.
SAN FRANCISCO, March 8 (Reuters) – Facebook executive
Sheryl Sandberg is taking a drubbing for prescribing from a
privileged perch the keys to female success in her upcoming book
“Lean In,” but she’s struck a chord among many in her backyard.
In her own technology sector, women remain woefully
underrepresented in leadership roles, even more so than in
fields generally considered heavily male-dominated like
financial services. Sandberg’s willingness to tackle the issue
of women and leadership is drawing plaudits from many in Silicon
SAN FRANCISCO, March 7 (Reuters) – Venture capital firm
Matrix Partners said it had hired 28-year-old Jared Fliesler, an
executive at the mobile-payments company Square, as general
Matrix had been talking to Fliesler for about the last year,
said general partner Dana Stadler, who believes Fliesler will be
able to give good advice to early-stage companies, Matrix’s
SAN FRANCISCO, March 5 (Reuters) – Blue-chip venture-capital
firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers expressed frustration with
poor fund performance and promised to do better at gatherings
for investors last month, according to people familiar with the
The firm, which has lost some of its shine recently due in
part to hefty bets on green energy technology and a lack of
home-run Internet investments, said it would be more careful
with capital and redouble its efforts to boost performance.
Several investors who received invitations to the meetings said
it was unusual for Kleiner Perkins to hold such gatherings when
it was not raising new funds.
SAN FRANCISCO, Feb 28 (Reuters) – Yahoo Chief
Executive Marissa Mayer’s decision to ban telecommuting sparked
outrage around the country, but left many in Silicon Valley
wondering what the fuss was all about.
Working from home is common enough in the Valley, but that
is in addition to – not instead of – the 40-plus hours spent
working in the office. Despite the area’s image as a
freewheeling space that makes much of the technology that allows
people to work remotely, Bay Area workers tend to head into the
office, especially at start-ups.