You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Ex-Facebook VP Asks $35 Million for Major-League Silicon Valley Mansion

Mike & Elaine Murphy
Atherton, Calif.
$35 million
13,150 square feet, 7 beds, 11 baths

According to real estate data juggernaut PropertyShark, the 94027 zip code — belonging to the leafy Northern California town of Atherton — was 2018’s most expensive zip code by a wide margin, its eye-popping median sale price of $6.7 million besting the #2 contender by more than a million bucks.

Of course, Atherton has long afforded residents an exceedingly prestigious address — the location in prime Silicon Valley has earned it scores of big-name venture capitalist and tech entrepreneur homeowners. One of those is former Yahoo and Facebook VP Mike Murphy, who recently slapped a $35 million pricetag on his massive Atherton compound.

Even for his exceptionally wealthy neighborhood, Murphy’s estate is quite large — the property spans three flat, fully landscaped acres dotted by enormous redwood trees. Records reveal Murphy acquired the two-parcel complex in two separate transactions — the first in 2011, the second in 2012 — for a total of about $19.5 million. He then hired prolific Silicon Valley developer Pacific Peninsula Group to oversee a multimillion-dollar expansion and renovation of the premises.

The resulting estate, which includes a 13,000+ sq. ft. Mediterranean-style mansion, a mini-me guesthouse and full-size tennis court, would not look out of place in Beverly Park, L.A.’s guard-gated community (in)famous for its collection of steroidal megamansions.

Popular on Variety

Murphy, who was a Yahoo executive before he jumped ship to become one of the earliest Facebook employees, eventually rose to become Vice President of Global Sales at the social network powerhouse before departing in 2010 to focus more on his family, according to an interview he gave at the time. He later joined online gaming phenom Zynga as a part-time advisor, while reportedly maintaining a consulting relationship with Facebook.

Now in his late 50s and an empty-nester, Murphy appears to be at least semi-retired. And so it would seem he no longer needs  — or wants — such a massive main residence.

The property is being sold off as two separate estates — the larger two-acre parcel, listed at $27 million, includes the main house, guesthouse and pool, while the smaller one-acre lot, listed at $8 million, includes the tennis court and is being marketed as a development opportunity. However, listing details specify the smaller lot will not be sold off before the larger lot transfers, presumably because a three-acre Atherton estate is a very rare thing and could attract a space-loving billionaire buyer who wants the whole Murphy shebang, not just a piece of it.

Gated, high-hedged and camera-secured, the mansion is barely visible from the public streetfront — nosy pedestrians will catch only a fleeting glimpse of the three-story beige behemoth through a wall of evergreen trees. Beyond the gates, a formal motorcourt sweeps up to the home’s supremely grand main entrance. According to listing materials, the estate — originally built in 1998 by high-flying Ohio venture capitalist Mark Kvamme — has garaging for six vehicles.

A set of three double doors with custom wrought iron accents allow entry into the foyer, with its almost ecclesiastical groin-vaulted ceiling and grand piano. The well-proportioned living room sports hardwood floors and a sizable fireplace,  while the adjacent eat-in kitchen has high-end appliances and opens to an informal dining area and family room. A long row of glassy sliders allows views of — and access to — the numerous backyard amenities.

There’s also a formal dining room with rows of French doors leading outside, and a library with attached office, both with soaring ceilings. Upstairs are a second family room and at least five bedroom suites, all of them seemingly done up in entirely different design motifs.

The mansion also contains a full-floor basement level with a gym, a bathroom decorated in what appears to be a particularly lurid shade of hot pink, a games room with a slew of prodigiously expensive arcade games, including a basketball machine and “Fast & Furious” racing cockpits, and a 14-seat home theater with blood-red walls and acres of hot pink zebra-stripe carpeting. Elsewhere there’s a lounge with a fire-engine red — or maybe it’s also hot pink — sectional sofa, and a downstairs dining area.

Emerald green lawns encircle the outdoor swimming pool, which is outfitted with a diving board and twin basketball hoops. The adjacent guest/pool house features a multi-columned loggia with space for al fresco dining, plus its own kitchen, indoor dining room, living room, family room and an impressively lavish bedroom suite for one lucky overnight guest.

Other amenities of the sprawling estate include exquisitely maintained formal gardens, a shady wooden deck completely encircled by towering redwoods, the aforementioned tennis court — which features its own motorcourt for visitors just dropping by to catch a game — and a golf putting green with sand trap.

Whichever financially fortunate buyer acquires the Murphy estate will be neighbors with, quite literally, a who’s who of Silicon Valley power players. Some of Atherton’s high-profile residents include — but are hardly limited to — Charles Schwab, Meg Whitman, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, YouTube co-founders Steve Chen and Chad Hurley, Twitter’s executive chairman Omid Kordestani, WhatsApp co-founder Jan Koum and Warriors owner Joe Lacob.

Steve Niethammer of Zane MacGregor brokerage holds the listing.


More Dirt

  • Sylvia Rhone House Los Angeles

    Epic's Sylvia Rhone Buys Bel Air Midcentury Modern

    After settling into her new role as Chairman and CEO of Epic Records, where she oversees an enviable roster of big-name artists that include Camila Cabello, Travis Scott, DJ Khaled, 21 Savage and French Montana, veteran music industry exec Sylvia Rhone has substantially upgraded her residential circumstances with the $5.35 million acquisition of a sophisticated [...]

  • L.A. Reid House

    L.A. Reid Lists L.A. Mansion

    Music mogul L.A. Reid, “dismissed from his post” as the chairman/CEO of Sony Music subsidiary Epic Records in early 2018 and the subsequent founder and current co-chairman of Hitco Entertainment, has spun his ultra-contemporary mansion in L.A.’s ritzy Bel Air neighborhood on the open market with a $22.9 million price tag. The prolific record producer, [...]

  • Jeffree Star House Hidden Hills

    Jeffree Star Drops $14 Million on Enormous Hidden Hills Compound

    Wigs are flying and the entire city of Calabasas is currently “shook,” as it were, because word on the street is that Jeffree Star wants a new mansion. And this time, the Lamborghini-driving YouTube superstar is not playing around. In a deal that closed today, Star and his longtime boyfriend — skateboarder Nathan Schwandt — [...]

  • George Lucas House

    George Lucas Drops $28 Million on Beach House Next Door

    Semi-retired filmmaker George Lucas, whose money-minting “Star Wars” franchise has more than half a dozen film and television projects in various stages of production, has considerably and at great expense expanded his already substantial property holdings along an exclusive stretch of beach in the California seaside community of Carpinteria, spending $28 million in an off-market [...]

  • Philip DeFranco House Los Angeles

    YouTube's Philip DeFranco Buys Encino Tennis Court Estate

    Perhaps the biggest professional challenge for “career” YouTubers is staying relevant in an era of breakneck change. While most of their fellow vloggers have since fallen by the wayside, a handful of veteran influencers — Shane Dawson, Ryan Higa, Jenna Marbles and Trisha Paytas among them — have managed to maintain to parlay their initial [...]

  • Ken Olin House

    Ken Olin and Patricia Wettig Pick Up Venice Scandi-Modern

    Primetime drama staples Patricia Wettig and Ken Olin, he a veteran actor, director and three-time Emmy-nominated producer for the NBC megahit “This Is Us,” and she a three-time Emmy-winning actor for the early 1990s baby boomer series “thirtysomething,” have shelled out $4.5 million for an arresting, Scandi-Modern residence in a quiet, slightly out-of-the-way cranny of [...]

  • David Chase House

    David Chase Snags Santa Monica Villa

    Seven-time Emmy winning TV producer David Chase, creator of the HBO cult-favorite mob series “The Sopranos,” has splashed out nearly $6.7 million for an extensively updated 1930s Spanish villa in a particularly plum Santa Monica, Calif., neighborhood. Presiding over a slightly elevated corner parcel of about a quarter-acre and measuring in at almost 4,700 square [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content