I’ve long held the view that the right founder can make a 30x difference, the right exec team a 3x difference and the right investor a 30% difference. Who the founders are is immutable, and we likely can’t change too much about ourselves, so our greatest point of leverage in a portfolio company is to help them build their exec team.
That’s why I’m so pleased to welcome Nicole North to Lightspeed as our Executive Talent Partner. She will help our portfolio companies navigate building their executive teams; identifying, hiring, developing, and retaining top talent.
We have known Nicole for years. Before Lightspeed, she spent nearly a decade at executive search firm, SPMB, where she founded the firm’s dedicated consumer practice. She recruited top execs to companies including Lyft, Rent The Runway, Brandless, Coinbase, Instacart, Walker & Co., Hint, Nerdwallet, Remitly, Fitbit, and Oculus. Just within our portfolio she has helped us build the teams at Lady Gaga’s Haus Labs, Rothy’s, Roofstock, AppDynamics, and Aerohive, to name a few. Her network and experience is as deep as it is impressive. But more importantly, we’ve seen her charisma, her character judgement and her tenacity firsthand.
Adding a partner is about more than just adding her resume. As we’ve gotten to know Nicole, we’ve learned more about her values and background. And as a result, we’ve come to know that she is a great fit for the culture of our firm.
Like us, Nicole cares deeply about increasing the number of people from underrepresented groups in technology. As a Latina, born in Brazil, and raised in a multi-racial family, she has experienced the imbalance of the gender and ethnicity in our industry firsthand. So it’s no surprise that she’s dedicated her career to supporting women, people of color, and all forms of diversity in tech, and beyond. She was drawn to join Lightspeed in part because of our commitment to increase the diversity of our own ranks, the ranks of our founders (over 33% of our consumer portfolio is made up of female founders) and the ranks of the exec teams.
Nicole is a global citizen, as Lightspeed is a global firm. She speaks three languages, and is a citizen of three countries. She embraces risk as we do, even rock climbing as a pastime. And entrepreneurship runs in her veins, as both of her parents started and ran their own companies.
You can learn more about Nicole and her background here. Join us in welcoming her to Lightspeed — we can’t wait to see how she will make a 3x difference to the future of our portfolio companies.