Adam Valkin, one of Europe’s top investors, is departing Accel Partners, the venture capital firm where he has been a partner since April 2010.

He’s also leaving Europe altogether, as he will be relocating to the United States to join VC firm General Catalyst Partners as a general partner in its Boston office in January 2013.

In this role, Valkin will focus on sourcing early-stage investments for General Catalyst and working with existing companies in the firm’s portfolio, which includes startups like Airbnb, HubSpot, Boxee, Backupify, GoodData, Visible Measures and Handybook.

General Catalyst is a longtime partner of Accel, and Valkin tells me that the decision to leave the latter firm was personal, as his family lives in Boston and he was getting tired of the constant commuting. Valkin notes that it was “absolutely awesome working at Accel, a real privilege”.

Valkin has spent the last 16 years working with early-stage businesses across Europe, Israel and the United States as an investor and entrepreneur. At Accel, he led investments in the likes of Hailo, fiverr and Dragonplay, and also worked with Spotify, Myheritage and Seeking Alpha.

It’s a big loss for the European startup ecosystem, and it reminds me of when Dailymotion and Seatwave investor Atlas Venture moved all its operations to Boston back in January 2010.

Kevin Comolli, Partner at Accel, says:

“Adam joined Accel almost three years ago and has been a valued member of our team. We are sorry to see him leave but fully support his decision to relocate to Boston to be with his family. We are thrilled that he will be joining such a great team at General Catalyst to continue his venture capital career.”

Prior to joining Accel, Valkin was Global Head of Digital Media & New Business at television production company Endemol. He was also a co-founder, investor and briefly interim CEO of LOVEFiLM, which was sold to Amazon.com in 2011. Previously, he worked for Barnes & Noble and Firefly Network (which was sold to Microsoft in 1998).

Valkin was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and holds a degree in economics from Harvard University.

We wish him the best of luck in his future career.

Top image credit: LeWeb / Flickr