Internet pioneer Andreessen joins Facebook board

Marc Andreessen, an entrepreneur and software engineer behind Netscape, one of internet's earliest browsers, has joined the board of the online hangout Facebook.

An Associated Press report also said Andreessen's appointment could bring additional clout and insight to a young but growing startup headed by Mark Zuckerberg, 24, who started Facebook as a Harvard undergraduate.

In a statement, Zuckerberg said Andreessen, 36, 'has experience that is relevant to Facebook in so many ways: scaling companies that are experiencing extraordinary growth, creating successful technology platforms and building strong engineering organizations.'

Andreessen's appointment also brings him in alliance with a one-time rival. Microsoft, whose internet Explorer browser trounced Andreessen's Netscape in the 1990s, has invested €151.8 million (US$240 million) for a 1.6% stake in Facebook, giving the privately held company a €9.5 billion (US$15 billion) valuation.

Andreessen joins Zuckerberg, Jim Breyer of Accel Partners and Peter Thiel of Clarium Capital and Founders Fund on Facebook's board. David Sze of Greylock Partners and Paul Madera of Meritech Capital Partners are board observers.