CIA venture arm again needs new CEO

Amit Yoran, the head of In-Q-Tel, has quit after just four months on the job, citing personal reasons.

In-Q-Tel, the venture capital arm of the US Central Intelligence Agency, will again be looking for a new chief executive officer just four months after hiring Amit Yoran for the post.

According to the Washington Post, Yoran, 35, resigned over the weekend for personal reasons, telling the paper that he wanted to spend less time traveling and more time at home with his family.

Before Yoran joined In-Q-Tel in January he had served as director of the National Cyber Security Division at the US Department of Homeland Security, a position to which he was appointed by President George W. Bush in September 2003. Before that appointment Yoran had managed Riptech, a venture-backed network security firm which he co-founded.

Yoran took over the position from Gilman Louie, who had run In-Q-Tel since its founding in 1999.

The CIA set up In-Q-Tel as a non-profit which would identify technologies being funded and developed by the private sector that could be useful to the CIA. The firm makes small investments in start-up technology or national security companies alongside traditional venture capital funds. The money In-Q-Tel invests goes toward evaluating the technology to make sure US intelligence agencies can use it.

Yoran had begun to aggressively increase In-Q-Tel’s investment activity as the firm’s budget increased. The budget for the operation has grown to $50 million, up from $30 million several years ago. Last month In-Q-Tel announced an investment alongside Sigma Partners and Apex Partners in Chicago-based software developer Initiate Systems, and in January the firm signed an agreement to invest in Nextreme Thermal Solutions.

The In-Q-Tel board is expected to appoint an interim CEO this week. Possible candidates to take over the position include Mark Frantz, the managing general partner for In-Q-Tel. Frantz, formerly with Carlyle Venture Partners, was hired by Yoran last month.

Yoran will continue to work with the firm as a consultant.