28 Oct 2021

Clubhouse taps Pinterest legal leader as first-ever general counsel

San Francisco social-audio app went from $1bn to $4bn valuation in one year

Anthony Falzone Image courtesy of Clubhouse

Clubhouse, a San Francisco-based social-audio app, has hired Anthony Falzone as its first-ever general counsel. 

Falzone joined the fast-growing startup this month after nine years at image sharing and social media service Pinterest. where he was deputy general counsel. 

Prior to going in-house, Falzone worked in private practice at now-defunct Bingham McCutchen in the Bay Area. He made partner in 2005 and departed the following year for a role as executive director of the Center for Internet and Societies Fair Use Project at Stanford Law School, where he remained until he became Pinterest’s second legal leader in 2012. 

Launched in early 2020 by chief executive Paul Davidson, Clubhouse’s voice-based conversational social networking format gained popularity during the pandemic while also drawing criticism over its loose moderation policies. 

Before founding Clubhouse, Davidson overlapped with Falzone’s stint at Pinterest when he joined the image sharing company as an executive after it purchased his location services app Highlight in 2016. 

Clubhouse, which counts venture capital giant Andreessen Horowitz as its lead financial backer, has raised approximately $110m over seven funding rounds since last May and is currently valued at around $4bn. 

The latest round took place in June, just a couple months after the app stepped up its efforts to protect user data following a regulatory investigation related to its compliance with European data privacy rules, according to Bloomberg News, as well as its Chinese partner company Agora’s access to external audio files. 

A Clubhouse spokesperson said that Falzone "believes there is a real opportunity to democratise distribution of content and help people find their voice—and wants to help build Clubhouse up to its potential. Having helped build Pinterest from its earliest days, he works to empower creators and represent artists to help them protect their freedom over intellectual property and self expression."

A number of other social media apps have been reshuffling their legal leadership teams recently, including TikTok, which tapped Microsoft veteran Matthew Penarczyk as its head of legal for the Americas in July, while streaming platform Spotify hired the US Copyright Office’s general counsel Regan Smith to lead its public policy and government affairs


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