Even under the difficult circumstances of the pandemic, industries like fintech, healthtech, people team software and even direct-to-consumer brands are continuing to grow. One sign of a growing company is the addition of new leaders, and the expertise they bring tends to signal where executives think the team has the most room to grow.
Here, we take a look at five companies who recently hired new tech, marketing, HR and product leaders.
Who: Jonathan Mildenhall
What: Chief Marketing Officer
Where: Dave, a challenger bank catering to users who have never had a bank account and want to avoid fees and overdraft penalties. The company charges $1 per month for access to financial planning and job-hunting services, and syncs with outside accounts to offer overdraft notifications across a user’s entire financial portfolio.
Why: Mildenhall has a storied career, having served as CMO for Airbnb between 2014 and 2018, as well as a seven-year stint leading integrated marketing and design teams at Coca-Cola.
“I have a history of working with big, splashy brands. I want Dave to be the biggest, splashiest, most aspirational and accessible fintech brand in the U.S.”
Dave is “building a product that literally can go up against some of the prejudices and biases of the traditional banking system,” Mildenhall recently told the Wall Street Journal. “I have a history of working with big, splashy brands. I want Dave to be the biggest, splashiest, most aspirational and accessible fintech brand in the U.S.”
Who: Serkan Kutan
What: Chief Technology Officer
Where: Amwell, one of the world’s biggest telehealth platforms connecting healthcare providers, patients and insurers. The company facilitates one-off doctor consultations for colds and infections, along with long-term management for chronic conditions like depression and diabetes.
Why: Kutan has extensive experience leading technology teams in the healthtech industry, including Haven, a joint venture between Amazon; JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway; and Zocdoc, an online directory and booking tool that helps users find in-network healthcare providers.
“The pandemic required the industry to adapt to virtual care overnight, which has amplified the challenges and opportunities facing healthcare today.”
“I have always been passionate about leveraging technology to improve the patient and provider digital experience,” Kutan said in a statement. “The pandemic required the industry to adapt to virtual care overnight, which has amplified the challenges and opportunities facing healthcare today.”
Who: Ramesh Kandukuri
What: Chief Technology Officer
Where: Organizations working in utilities, government, insurance and healthcare use Invoice Cloud’s payment platform and integrations to facilitate billing. Through a single dashboard, the company says its users can manage payment collection and customer communications while cutting paper costs and boosting efficiency.
Why: Kandukuri has a long history leading tech teams in the fintech space, having worked his way up to become an enterprise software and data architect over 11 years at mortgage lender Quicken Loans. He then led tech teams at a number of financial services companies including Progressive Learning, a lease-to-own provider worth more than $2 billion.
Who: Padmashree Koneti
What: Vice President of Product
Where: Seattle-based Limeade builds HR software designed to enhance employee experience. Through digitized social activities, personal challenges and interactive learning, the company’s platform measures employee sentiment and seeks to boost overall inclusion and engagement.
Why: Koneti has managed products for storied tech names like Sun Microsystems, Cisco and eBay, and most recently led business planning and product management for tech firms like Puppet in Portland and EAT Club in the SF Bay Area. Limeade recently raised more than $68 million in an IPO on the Australian stock exchange, as part of an “Aussie Nasdaq” aimed at companies valued in the tens or hundreds of millions of dollars, as a counter to the Nasdaq’s typical billion-dollar valuations.
Who: Benjamin Sheats
What: Vice President of Engineering
Where: Daily Harvest is a direct-to-consumer superfood delivery service, based on freezing organic, sustainable and healthy ingredients right after harvesting, in a technique known to lock in freshness and taste. Along with unprocessed fruits and vegetables, the company also offers pre-packaged smoothies, soups and bowls following recipes designed by nutritionists and Michelin-trained chefs.
Why: Sheats is a veteran of several well-known consumer-facing technology companies, including stints leading engineering teams on Twitter’sVine platform, mobile game maker HQ Trivia and the Gilt Groupe’s Jetsetter travel business.