By Thomas Heath
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, January 4, 2011; 9:10 PM
Ron Klain, chief of staff to Vice President Biden, is leaving the White House to become president of Case Holdings, the holding company for the business and philanthropic interests of former AOL chairman Steve Case.
Klain will help oversee Case's Revolution LLC, the investment vehicle Case founded in 2005. It holds interests in 20 companies, including the hourly car rental company Zipcar, the coupon Web site LivingSocial and the online health information provider Everyday Health.
Klain, 49, who served as an executive and general counsel with Revolution LLC for four years before joining the Obama administration, is expected to join Case later this month. He also will assist Case and his wife, Jean, in administering the Case Foundation.
"The chance to do something great, exciting and new made this a compelling offer I couldn't say no to," Klain said in a telephone interview. "It allows me to work in a new way with a team I enjoyed working with before and to take my business and law career to the next step."
Klain will have responsibility for Revolution's legal, financial and communications departments, will manage the company's portfolio and will oversee Case's investments in Hawaii, including Grove Farm and Maui Land & Pineapple, Case said.
"It enables Revolution to go to the next step," Case said in a telephone interview. "Our momentum has built nicely over the last couple of years from a handful of investments as a personal holding company to a much more serious and sustainable platform that's trying to back more and more high-growth companies."
Case said Klain's immediate role "is to take a fresh look at everything we are doing and get up to speed on 20-plus companies. The first few months, that will be the focus. He will look at lots of ways to take Revolution to the next step."
Revolution has been on a roll in the past couple of years. It is the single biggest individual shareholder in Zipcar. It sold the financial services company Revolution Money to American Express in the past year at a substantial profit. More recently, LivingSocial received a $175 million investment from online retail giant Amazon.com that values the coupon Web coupon site at about $1 billion. (Tim O'Shaughnessy, LivingSocial's founder and chief executive, is the son-in-law of Washington Post Co. Chairman Donald E. Graham.)
"There's a lot going on and a lot of moving parts," Case said.
Klain was also chief of staff for Vice President Al Gore. He was a partner at O'Melveny & Myers LLP, chief of staff to the U.S. attorney general and associate counsel to President Bill Clinton.
Biden issued a statement in response to the announcement: "Ron has done an exceptional job of building my team, implementing my direction on top priorities, and providing invaluable counsel. . . . I am proud of the successes we have had over these two years."