November 07, 2022
Diego Camberos, COO of Vodafone Qatar and former CEO of Tigo Millicom Senegal and Rwanda, joins Michael to share insight into navigating cultural differences in different markets, how “radical simplification” has served as the bedrock of Vodafone’s success, and how to build a corporate culture that acknowledges and respects different cultures.
October 27, 2022
Cameron Herold, Founder of the COO Alliance and former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK, talks to Michael about building a successful company culture, effective process implementation, and what a strong relationship between a COO and CEO should look like. They also touch on how to attract “A” players to your team, how to approach each initiative with a Plan, Brief, Execute, and Debrief mentality, reverse engineering processes, and of course, penguins.
October 18, 2022
Cathy Hawley, former Chief People Officer of Return Path and Co-Founder of Bolster, sits down with Michael to discuss the importance of intentionality and an agile mindset in building a remote company culture, how people operations grew out of traditional human resources, and why employers should focus on a co-creating mentality when approaching its workforce.
August 02, 2022
Dale Pfeifer, CEO of Goodworld, chats on scaling social impact through tech, the evolution of CSR (corporate social responsibility) from consumer targeted to greater corporate involvement, Mastercard, Citi, and BlackRock's leadership in CSR, the impact of the pandemic on accelerating CSR, the challenges of raising VC capital as a woman and as a social impact co., and what it's like to pitch President Obama. Goodworld helps companies grow by making it easy to embed Social Impact into commerce, workplace culture and sustainability initiatives. Through our Social Impact experiences, sales teams close more deals at higher prices, HR teams increase employee engagement and attract talent, ESG teams drive ROI from their activities, and marketing teams create irresistible brands that boost product prices.
June 14, 2022
Jenny Lawton knows how to run businesses. Period. From her role as CEO of Makerbot, democratizing 3D printing (and exiting for $400M), to being COO of LittleBits (BB8's learning division), to running Techstars, one of the world's most prolific and successful seed funds and accelerators, Jenny has a breadth of knowledge that I feel we barely tapped into. Have a listen to hear her thoughts on the fragile progress made in improving gender equality, #givefirst, applying the Montessori framework in business, the advice she gave my daughters, and more. Jenny Lawton is the EVP at Bolster, an on-demand executive talent marketplace that helps accelerate companies’ growth by connecting them with experienced, highly vetted executives for interim, fractional, advisory, project-based, or board roles. Prior to Bolster, Jenny served in a variety of C-Suite roles which include her time as the Chief Strategy Officer and then CEO of MakerBot, the leader in desktop 3D printing technology that was acquired by Stratasys for over $400M. Jenny also served as the COO of LittleBits, the STEM learning division of Sphero (the company behind the adorable droid BB8 that captured our hearts in the latest Star Wars films), and then as COO and CIO, Chief Innovation Officer at Techstars, the global startup accelerator which is near and dear to my heart. It’s also worth noting that Jenny was inducted into the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame in 2014 for her work in business and labor. And in case you haven’t picked up on it, Jenny has dedicated herself to empowering others to invent and innovate, whether through creating products for makers, empowering startup entrepreneurs, or connecting companies and executives with great opportunities.
June 01, 2022
Handshake COO, Jonathan Stull, joins to talk about the journey of building a three-sided marketplace to $100M ARR at a $3.5B valuation with over 500 employees. We touch on the role of COO at Handshake; Jonathan's path from waiting tables to Capital Hill to PE to tech; compromising on tactics but not on vision or mission; adding independent board members; deploying $100MMs in funding; the move from hiring generalists to specialists; global expansion; timing and more.
May 02, 2022
GoGuardian COO, Cyrus Mistry, spent 14 years at Google as the Director of Product Management for Chromebooks bringing computers to schools, before joining GoGaurdian as COO right when they raised $200M in new funding from Tiger Global Management. Cyrus has a wealth of knowledge not only stemming from his four advanced degrees but also from his operating experience at Disney prior to Google. Have a listen to hear about his story and what it's like to move from Google to a startup.
April 11, 2022
Art Harding is the COO at People.ai, and joins to share how People.ai has supported their Ukrainian team members, how coaching is inspiring for the right to inspect performance and provide timely and meaningful feedback, the operational mandate of E2T: driving efficiency, effectiveness, and transformation, how COO is the most interesting job in the world, launching new products, what healthy friction looks like, how great operations leaders think like project managers, and product and sales lead grow.
March 17, 2022
Angela Tucci, COO at Uplight, joins to talk about running a $1.5B company created from the M&A of 6 companies, advocating for voice & equity for women in the workforce, finding an inspiring CEO, working with utility companies to reduce their carbon footprint, taking private equity vs. VC funding, integrating acquisitions remotely during covid, the impact of politics, and systems thinking. Prior to Uplight, Angela was Chief Strategy Officer at Symantec, Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Marketing Officer at Rally Software, and Chief Executive Officer at Apto, so she's a clear underachiever. :) Uplight is a technology partner for energy providers and the clean energy ecosystem to help them reach their decarbonization goals. Uplight was last valued at $1.5 billion dollars, which is an achievement in and of itself, let alone for a company that's only 3 years old. Episode Website: https://betweentwocoos.com/uplight-coo-angela-tucci/ Angela Tucci on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/angelatucci/ Uplight: https://uplight.com/ Michael Koenig on LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/mkoenig514 The 80/80 Marriage: https://www.8080marriage.com/
March 09, 2022
Ken Weary is the COO of Hotjar and joins to chat on running a fully remote 200 person company, being a digital nomad traveling for over 7 years as a COO with a family, going through M&A and diligence on the buyer, always having a just cause as the "why" behind what you do, and BYOR, Bring Your Own Router. Hotjar, is a European headquartered start-up with over 200 fully remote team members distributed across the globe. Ken is also a digital nomad and has been traveling with his family across Central America, Europe, and Africa for nearly 7 years. Prior to his travels, Ken held leadership positions in traditional corporate environments where he gained great experience but was tied to his desk. He relishes life “outside the cube”.
March 03, 2022
Former Lyft executive, Steve Taylor, joins to talk about Lyft's growth from early days to $20B IPO, managing the NYC and DC Lyft markets with a $500M P&L, taking analog experiences and making them digital, and his latest work on HipTrain, an at-home fitness app that connects personal trainers with clients for digital personal training sessions. Steve spent his early career in the Navy flying E-2C Hawkeyes with a tour through the White House where he was responsible for deploying and managing defense assets around the world.
February 23, 2022
ExecThread CEO, Joe Meyer on Accessing Hidden Exec Retained Searches & How to Land Them, Exiting to Apple & AOL, Organic Supply/Demand Creation & Growth, the Motivation of Failure, & How to Overcome Any Challenge. Joe has been a successful start-up CEO and operating executive at high-growth tech companies including HopStop (acquired by Apple), Quigo (acquired by AOL), and eBay (EBAY) with a strong track record of recruiting teams, launching new products, raising venture capital, growing traffic, eliciting engagement, scaling revenue and achieving liquidity. Joe was named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2012 by Crain's New York Business and was #9 on Business Insider's 2013 "Silicon Alley 100" list (as one of the Top 100 tech executives in NYC). Joe is a Board Member of the Hoyas Unlimited Board of Governors Company for Georgetown University, was previously on the Board of Directors of Kalexo (acquired by Autodesk) and Belief Networks (acquired by Benefit Focus), and also served on the Board of Advisors of Adtuitive (acquired by Etsy), Spongecell (acquired by Flashtalking, Inc., which was subsequently acquired by Mediaocean) and Snooth (wine discovery platform). ExecThread is a VC-backed crowdsourcing platform and premium job-sharing network that enables professionals to access the “hidden job market”. ExecThread is the largest global aggregator of unpublished executive-level job opportunities.
February 15, 2022
Kettle COO, Nathaniel Manning, talks about balancing risk in a changing climate, structure without bureaucracy, evolution by design, good decision making, the social contract of insurance, and sitting on a monastery cushion for 3 months. He also talks about old guard vs new guard, building the plane while it's flying, making the implicit explicit, and evolution by design. Nathaniel has a long career of founding and leading companies including Fellow Robots, BRCK, the largest provider of public wifi in Africa, and Ushahidi the world’s largest open-source platform for crisis response. Along the way, he worked on furthering clean energy as part of the Clinton Climate Initiative at the Clinton Foundation, and Nathaniel was part of the Obama Administration's first class of Presidential Innovation Fellow where he was special advisor on open data at USAID, the world's premier international development agency, where he went on to become the Chief Data Officer. With that kind of track record, it’s safe to say that Nathaniel puts his money where his mouth is when it comes to creating technological solutions to some of the world’s biggest problems.
February 08, 2022
Dave Weiss, co-founder, and COO of Hatch, joins us to discuss what it takes to confound a hardware company with his wife, sell 2 million IoT devices, the heightened consumer expectations of hardware, visit customers' homes, going from Shark Tank to VC fundraising, moving from CTO at BabyCenter to COO, and believing in wet paint. Prior to co-founding Hatch, Dave was the CTO of BabyCenter, where he was responsible for software engineering and product.
February 01, 2022
Dia&Co. COO and former LVMH Chief Digital Officer, Valerie Hoecke, joins to chat on how a $50B co. like LVMH preps you for anything, how Dia&Co. solves the shopping challenges faced by plus size women, the impact of size discrimination in the workforce, the challenges that "try before you buy" creates, and going from growth to survival mode and back again. Valerie kicked off her career in the early days of the internet with one software exit followed by one agency exit, in the Web 1.0 days. She gained a ton of experience across brand building and performance marketing, as well as e-commerce, in 15 years working in digital agencies in various roles including VP Operations, GM, VP Client Services. Most recently she served as the Global Chief Digital Officer for the world’s foremost luxury conglomerate, LVMH, across 16 beauty brands. LVMH Beauty brands include a mix of iconic centuries-old luxury household names such as Parfums Christian Dior, powerhouses like Benefit Cosmetics, Givenchy, and Fresh, as well as more recently incubated hot businesses such as Fenty Beauty. She’s recently returned to her startup roots at Dia & Co, where she has been the COO for the last 6 months. Dia & Co is the leading online multi-brand clothing retailer serving women who wear sizes 10 - 32. Dia & Co offers a membership service where stylists curate monthly boxes to help customers find their style, as well as a fast-growing marketplace where customers can shop direct for the very best brands offering inclusive sizing.
January 19, 2022
Catherine Stewart, former COO at Shippo and former CBO at Automattic, joins us in part one of a special two-parter, to talk about the craft of scaling operations at hyper-growth tech companies. Topics include shifting strategic priorities at Automattic to also focus on e-commerce and revenue generation, tackling employee attrition at Shippo, the shift from Facebook to Automattic, balancing the entrepreneurial mindset with the need for processes, not sugar-coating it, and why her time at Random House yielded some of the most valuable learnings of her career. Part two, coming next month, focuses on scaling the go-to-market and creating $B's in value. While at Shippo, a shipping software company backed by Bessemer, she led Marketing, Sales, Business Development, Customer Success, Customer Support, People Ops, and Strategic Planning. During her time at the company, Shippo's revenue grew 3x faster than the US eCommerce shipping market, and the company's valuation grew from $220M to over $1B in just 18 months. Prior to joining Shippo, Catherine was the Chief Business Officer at Automattic, the company behind WordPress.com, during the company’s growth from a valuation of $1B to $3B. While at the company, she led the acquisition and integration of WooCommerce. Previously at Facebook, she helped launch the Facebook Audience Network and led the three-year planning process. Have a listen!
January 11, 2022
Doug Hanna, COO at Grafana Labs, joins us to discuss scaling a company to $3B in valuation after raising $330M in funding. As a former Zendesk VP of Ops, Doug has had front seats at both companies, during hyper-growth. This episode, Part 2, focuses on scaling the go-to-market machine of a multi-billion dollar company. Grafana Labs is the company behind the lead open source observability platform, Grafana, used by the likes of Salesforce, Paypal, Verizon, Ebay, and 750K other instances. Part 1 of Doug's session dropped on January 4th, 2022 and focuses on Doug's path to COO and scaling people and culture.
January 04, 2022
Doug Hanna, COO at Grafana Labs, joins us to discuss scaling a company to $3B in valuation after raising $330M in funding. As a former Zendesk VP of Ops, Doug has had front seats at both companies, during hyper-growth. This episode, Part 1, focuses on people and culture: what goes into scaling from 70 to 400 net new employees in a mere 18 months. Grafan Labs is the company behind the lead open source observability platform, Grafana, used by the likes of Salesforce, Paypal, Verizon, Ebay, and 750K other instances. Part 2 of Doug's episode will air in a few weeks and focuses on scaling go-to-market.
December 20, 2021
Before Micah Rosenbloom was a venture capitalist, he was the co-founder and COO of Brontes Technologies, which he sold to 3M. Micah and his business partner Eric then went on to found the VC firm, Founder Collective, which has made investments in companies like Uber, ThreadUp, Hotels Tonight, Venmo, PillPack, and more. Micah joins us to discuss deciding who's CEO and COO, not shying away from tough conversations, hiring the right people, founding a VC firm and introducing ops to it, going through a transaction to a major corporation, the downside of making investments via Zoom, and how to identify investors that have true conviction in your company.
December 14, 2021
After doing $26B of M&A at Diageo, Marie Prokopets joined the startup world a cofounded Nira.com, a way to secure your company documents and access controls. As COO at Nira, Marie joins us to talk about pivoting from search to security, context switching, and what happens when vendors mess up access controls. Marie Prokopets on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarieProkopets Marie Prokopets on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/marieprokopets Hiten Shah on Twitter: https://twitter.com/hnshah Michael Koenig on LinkedIn: https://linkedin.com/in/mkoenig514 Episode website: https://betweentwocoos.com/nira-coo-marie-prokopets Transcript: https://betweentwocoos.com/nira-coo-marie-prokopets/#transcript
December 06, 2021
Tucows (NDAQ: TCX) Chief Product Officer, Justin Reilly, joins as our first non-COO, and shares on your customer's best last experience, product designs influence on operations and AI's fit, Ting's amazing customer care, and how photos almost pushed a launch.
November 29, 2021
True Ventures Chief Operating Officer, Jim Stewart, joins us to discuss what it's like to take four companies public, what goes into the operations to run a venture capital firm, how to take calculated risks, and what to do when you realize that you've just violated US government export controls when you're doing an IPO roadshow (don't panic). True Ventures is a venture capital firm with an astonishing track record of investing in the best companies like Peleton, Fitbit, Ring, Duo Security, Automattic, and Sweetgreen, which just went public on the New York Stock Exchange. Jim initially joined True Ventures as CFO in 2012 and now leads all operations as the firm's COO. He brings substantial operational and financial experience to venture-backed tech and biotech companies. Jim has held numerous operating and CFO positions, leading four companies through their IPO processes. When he is not focused on operations, he's doing all sorts of high-octane activities like racing his Yamaha R6 motorcycle. Ben Horowitz's Book, The Hard Thing About Hard Things - https://www.amazon.com/Hard-Thing-About-Things-Building/dp/0062273205 True Ventures - https://trueventures.com Jim Stewart - https://www.linkedin.com/in/james-stewart-b1b10320/ Episode Webpage - https://betweentwocoos.com/jim-stewart-true-ventures-coo Episode Transcript - https://betweentwocoos.com/jim-stewart-true-ventures-coo /#transcript Michael Koenig - https://linkedin.com/in/mkoenig514
November 21, 2021
Allie Fleder discusses changing industries, how COO roles change throughout the life stage of a company, the blood sweat, and tears (literally) that go into building a startup, and maintaining clarity in the early days of a company. Allie Fleder is the cofounder and COO of SimplyWise, an NYC-based fintech app helping Americans take control of their data. She previously founded and ran Sherpa, a British luggage delivery platform for busy travelers that was acquired in 2019. Before starting her own business, she consulted for VC-backed fintech and travel tech startups in London and NYC. She Chairs EUROUT, Europe’s largest LGBT+ business conference, and serves on the Digital Corps leadership committee of Out in Tech. Allie is a graduate of Columbia University and London Business School, where she received a full scholarship. Check out: Allie Fleder on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/allie-fleder SimplyWise: https://simplywise.com EUROUT: https://www.euroutconference.org Episode website: https://www.betweentwocoos.com/allie-fleder-simplywise-eurout Between Two COO's: https://www.linkedin.com/company/betweentwocoos Michael Koenig: https://linkedin.com/in/mkoenig514 Running Remote: https://runningremote.com Running Remote 30% Coupon Code: betweentwocoos For a transcript of the episode, go to: betweentwocoos.com/allie-fleder-simplywise-eurout
November 21, 2021
Rich Wallach, COO and CFO of Deepak Chopra's Chopra Global, joins us to discuss creating happiness and security for employees, maintaining focus on the long-term strategy, and remote operations. Rich was previously Chief Operating Officer at Credit Suisse in the technology investment banking division before he rediscovered his mission to connect the mind and body and joined Deepak Chopra.