There is no shortage of women ready for prime roles at the top of companies like Google, Netflix, Salesforce, Airbnb and more. Here are 21 female executives who have a solid engineering background that could easily become the next FORTUNE 100 CTO in 2018:
1. Anne Aaron, Director of Video Algorithms, Netflix
Anne Aaron is Director of Video Algorithms at Netflix, encoding and processing video and images at scale. Prior to Netflix, Anne worked at Cisco as an engineering lead, where she architected and implemented video encoding and decoding modules for improved user experience with playback and transcoding. Prior to Cisco, Anne was one of the first employees at a video streaming startup. She earned her B.S. in Phsyics and Computer Engineering from Manila University, and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Follow her on Twitter at @annemargotaaron.
2. Arquay Harris, Director of Engineering, Slack
Arquay Harris is a Director of Engineering at Slack, a collaboration tools company. She was enjoying her time off after working at Google and CBS in engineering management, and attended a Girl Geek Dinner at Slack in 2016. She credits that Girl Geek Dinner to her role today working at Slack, where she was promoted to Director of Engineering after less than a year as a Senior Engineering Manager! Arquay studied math & psychology at University of Mary Washington, and media arts & sociology at James Madison University in her undergraduate studies, and earned her MFA in computer art & new media from The Academy of Art.
3. Cathy Edwards, Director of Engineering, Google
Cathy Edwards is Director of Engineering at Google, where she heads engineering and product for Image Search after Google acquired her startup in 2016. Prior to Google, Cathy was a Director of Engineering at Apple, which acquired her previous startup Chomp (where she was CTO and co-founder). Before she became an entrepreneur, Cathy was a mobile product manager at Friendster. Cathy studied math, computer science and linguistics at The University of Western Australia. Follow her on Twitter at @cathye.
4. Cathy Polinsky, CTO, Stitch Fix
Cathy Polinsky is CTO at Stitch Fix, online clothing box service that went public in 2017. Prior to Stitch Fix, Cathy was SVP of Engineering at Salesforce, where she worked on Enterprise Search. Before Salesforce, she held was a Senior Engineering Manager at Yahoo! for four years, and began her career as a software developer. Cathy earned her B.A. in Computer Science at Swathmore College. Follow her on Twitter at @cathy_polinsky.
5. Cheryl Porro, SVP Technology, Salesforce.org
Cheryl Porro is SVP of Technology and Products at Salesforce.org, leading the organization responsible for product delivery for non-profit and higher ed products on the Salesforce.com platform. She also leads enterprise business systems streamlining Salesforce.org operations with enterprise grade technology solutions. Cheryl has been at Salesforce for over a decade, and began her career as a quality engineer before entering engineering management. She earned her B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic University. Follow her on Twitter at @cporro_sfdc.
6. Danielle Fong, Chief Scientist, Lightsail Energy
Danielle Fong is Chief Scientist at her startup LightSail Energy. She is a mentor for the Thiel 20 Under 20 fellowship, and an advisor to several startups in greentech and physical technologies. Danielle entered Dalhousie University at age 12 to study physics and computer science, and graduated at 17 with a university medal, performing graduate work in nuclear fusion at the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab. Follow her on Twitter at @DanielleFong.
7. Elissa Murphy, VP Engineering, Google
Elissa Murphy is VP Engineering at Google. Prior to Google, she was CTO and EVP at GoDaddy, where she is credited for recruiting high-powered female tech talent, leading an expansion from 30k to 100k servers, and helping the company better serve the small business market globally. Prior to GoDaddy, she was VP Engineering at Yahoo! leading Hadoop and Cloud Services, and spent over a 12 years in various engineering management roles at Microsoft. She holds 25+ patents and is on the board of directors of Inphi Corporation.
8. Fei-Fei Li, Chief Scientist, Google
Fei-Fei Li is Chief Scientist at Google, leading artificial intelligence and machine learning research and development efforts at Google Cloud. She is an Associate Professor at the Computer Science Department at Stanford University, and Director of the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Lab and the Stanford Vision Lab, building smart algorithms that enable computers and robots to see and think. She earned her B.S. in Physics from Princeton University and her Ph.D. from Caltech. Follow her on Twitter at @drfeifei.
9. Isaura Gaeta, VP Systems Engineering, Intel
Isaura Gaeta is VP and General Manager of systems engineering in the Platform Engineering Group at Intel. She leads the team responsible for optimizing overall workflow to improve engineering efficiency and effectiveness. A 30-year veteran of Intel, she has served as head of business operations, leading a global engineering organization of more than 18,000 people. Isaura earned BSc and MSc degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Follow her on Twitter at @IsauraGaeta.
10. Jenny Gonsalves, VP Engineering, Lyra Health
Jenny Gonsalves is VP Engineering at Lyra Health, a VC-funded startup transforming behavioral health care through tech. Prior to Lyra Health, she was VP Engineering at SugarCRM, where she worked for over a decade in various engineering management / leadership positions. She earned her B.S. in Computer Science from University of Toronto. Follow her on Twitter at @jenny_gonsalves.
11. Lakecia Gunter, Chief of Staff, Intel
Lakecia Gunter is Chief of Staff and Technical Assistant to the CEO at Intel. Prior to her current role, she was General Manager of Consumer Desktop Segment Marketing in the Client Computing Group. Lakecia is a member of the Intel Black Leadership Council, Intel’s Network of Intel African Americans, and Women at Intel. She earned her B.S. in Computer Engineering from University of South Florida and her M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology. Follow her on Twitter at @lakeciagunte.
12. Li Fan, Head of Engineering, Pinterest
Li Fan is the Head of Engineering at Pinterest, where she leads the company’s technical direction and oversees a team of 400+ engineers building a visual discovery engine. Prior to Pinterest, she led image search at Google as Senior Director of Engineering. Prior to Google, Li was VP Engineering at Baidu, leading product design and development at China’s largest search engine. She began her career in software development and engineering management at Cisco and Ingrian Networks. She earned her B.S. in Computer Science from Fudan University in Shanghai and her Master’s in Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
13. Lynn Christensen, SVP Product Dev, Workday
Lynn Christensen is Senior Vice President of Product Development at Workday, a cloud-based finance/HR solution. She brings more than 25 years of experience managing world-class software development organizations. Previously, Lynn worked as the chief development officer and vice president of engineering at MarketTools. Prior to that, she was a vice president at Oracle. Lynn earned her B.S. in Computer Information Systems at Arizona State University and her MBA in Finance from San Francisco State University. Follow her on Twitter at @lynnchristensen.
14. Maria Zhang, CTO, Tinder
Maria Zhang is CTO at Tinder, the popular dating app. She was promoted to CTO from VP Engineering. Prior to Tinder, Maria was VP Engineering at Yahoo! after the company acquired her mobile recommendation engine company Alike in 2013. Before she became an entrepreneur, Maria led the personal relevance team at MSN (Microsoft) and began her career as an engineer. She studied Computer Science, Economics and Math at E. Michigan University and Tsinghua University. Follow her on Twitter at @mariarenhui.
15. Minette Norman, VP Engineering, Autodesk
Minette Norman is VP Engineering Practice at Autodesk, where she has been for 15 years! At Autodesk, Minette is driving state-of-the-art engineering practices and creating a collaborative culture. She serves on the Board of Directors of D-Rev, a non-profit devoted to developing medical technologies for impoverished and vulnerable populations worldwide. Minette holds degrees in drama and French from Tufts University and studied at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris. Follow her on Twitter at @minettenorman.
16. Neha Narkhede, CTO, Confluent
Neha Narkhede is CTO at Confluent, a company for realtime data and Apache Kafka. Prior to founding Confluent, she worked at LinkedIn for over four years as an engineer, where she helped invent the open-source software platform Apache Kafka. Neha began her career at Oracle, spending two years as engineering, designing and implementing from scratch hierarchical faceted search in Oracle Text. Neha earned her B.E. in Computer Science from University of Pune, and her M.S. in Computer Science from Georgia Institute of Technology. Follow her on Twitter at @nehanarkhede.
17. Niniane Wang, Director of Engineering, Niantic
Niniane Wang is Director of Engineering at Niantic — better known as the makers of Pokémon Go. Niantic acquired her 3D avatar startup Evertoon in 2017, where she was CEO and co-founder. Prior to Evertoon, Niniane was CTO at Minted. She also spent five years at Google, where she founded Lively and Desktop. Niniane earned her B.S. in Computer Science from Caltech and her M.S. in Computer Science from University of Washington. Follow her on Twitter at @niniane.
18. Raji Arasu, SVP Platform, CTO-Dev, Intuit
Raji Arasu is SVP Platform and Services, CTO-Dev at Intuit, responsible for the platform and core services that enable business teams to help build innovative products for Intuit customers. Prior to Intuit, she was CTO and VP of Product & Technology at StubHub for over four years. Prior to StubHub, she held various engineering leadership roles at Ebay for over a decade. Raji earned her B.E. in Computer Engineering from Pune University of Engineering in India. Follow her on Twitter at @rarasu.
19. Surabhi Gupta, Director of Engineering, Airbnb
Surabhi Gupta is Director of Engineering at Airbnb, where she’s been in engineering leadership for over four years. Today she’s leading engineering for Airbnb’s Homes business. Prior to Airbnb, she worked at Google as a Staff Software Engineer for over six years. Surabhi earned her B.S. in Computer Science at Stony Brook University and her M.S. in Computer Science from Stanford University. Follow her on Twitter at @surbs.
20. Window Snyder, Chief Security Officer, Fastly
Window Snyder is Chief Security Officer at Fastly. She is a former Chief Security Officer at Mozilla Corporation, and the co-author of Threat Modeling, a standard manual on application security. She developed security and privacy strategies for iOS and OS X at Apple. While at Microsoft, she owned security sign-off for the Windows platform and helped the company open lines of communication between Windows developers and outside security researchers and vendors. After leaving Microsoft in 2005, Windows founded Matasano Security, where she was CTO. Follow her on Twitter at @window.
21. Yoky Matsuoka, CTO, Nest
Yoky Matsuoka is CTO at Nest, the learning thermostat. Prior to being the CTO, she was VP Engineering at Nest for five years, through the acquisition by Google in 2014. She was a Professor at Carnegie Mellon University for nine years, where she was Director and Founder of the Neurobotics Laboratory. Yoky was a Postdoc Fellow at Harvard University, earned her Ph.D and Master’s in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science from MIT, and studied Electrical Engineering & Computer Science at UC Berkeley as an undergrad. She holds 250+ patents and has published 200+ journal papers. Follow her on Twitter at @yokymatsuoka.
More Women - Moving & Shaking!
These technical women entrepreneurs & operators have HUGE potential for growth funding for their companies — or to be recruited into a top leadership role. Can’t wait to see where they get recruited!
- Ann Mei Chang, former Chief Innovation Officer at USAID
- Annabel Liu, former VP Engineering at LinkedIn
- Annie Chang, former Director of Product at Homejoy
- April Chang, former VP Engineering at StyleSeat
- Barbara Gee, former VP at Anita Borg Institute
- Camille Fournier, former CTO at Rent The Runway
- Dedra Chamberlain, former Identity Lead at UC Berkeley
- Divya Jain, former Machine Learning Lead at Box
- Ellen Pao, former CEO at Reddit
- Genevieve Bell, former Fellow & VP Corporate Strategy at Intel
- Heidi Williams, former VP Engineering at Box
- Jean Hsu, former Engineering Manager at Medium
- Jennifer Arguello, former Senior Technical Development at GitHub
- Josie Gillan, former Senior Director of Engineering at Cloudera
- Kakul Srivastrava, former VP Product Management at GitHub
- Kamilah Taylor, former Senior Engineer at LinkedIn
- Kanjun Qiu, former Chief of Staff at Dropbox
- Lara Hogan, former VP Engineering at Kickstarter
- Mary Lou Jepsen, former Director of Engineering at Oculus (Facebook)
- Megan Smith, former CTO of United States
- Preethi Kasireddy, former VC & engineer at Coinbase
- Rachel Thomas, former Data Scientist at Uber
- Ruchi Sanghvi, former VP Operations at Dropbox
- Sarah Allen, former CEO of Blazing Cloud (Indiegogo)
- Tracy Chou, former founding engineer at Pinterest
These women have all deep roots in engineering, and enormous potential for building the next Google or Facebook.
In case you missed it:
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