Amir Efrati, who has covered Google for The Wall Street Journal for the past three years, plans to head to a new technology journalism startup founded by former colleague Jessica Lessin.
Lessin, the Journal’s former Apple reporter, recently left the paper after eight years as a reporter and editor, in order to found a new technology news venture.
While she has not revealed its name or the details of the site as yet, sources said she will be funding the effort herself for now. In addition to Efrati, Lessin has also hired Eric Newcomer, who most recently worked for the Washington Examiner.
Efrati’s last day at the Journal is this Thursday; he will start at the Lessin venture in August. He declined to comment, as did Lessin.
The departures come as the Journal plans to beef up its Silicon Valley technology coverage under new global tech editor Jonathan Krim, who is also in charge of the San Francisco bureau. He is planning an aggressive tech expansion, with a goal of hiring seven to eight new reporters and editors to cover the space, including a new Google reporter to replace Efrati.
The Journal – which is owned by News Corp, as is AllThingsD – declined to comment on its hiring plans. There have been a number of departures in the San Francisco bureau of late, including Ben Worthen, who went to Sequoia Capital, and deputy bureau chief Pui-Wing Tam, who is now at Bloomberg as its U.S. tech team leader.
The Journal is also seeking a new Facebook reporter to replace Evelyn Rusli, who will spearhead a new beat called “Innovations.” Rusli, who came to the Journal from the New York Times, will write primarily about private companies and “big ideas” in Silicon Valley, from early-stage funding and deal-flow stories to new ideas on the horizon.