We did it! We Finally Hired A Head of Talent — Please welcome Adriana Roche to Uncork Capital
You might not guess that someone who owned a deadly Anaconda as a kid would grow up to be an extremely high-EQ person who built a career on their keen understanding of people, but then you’d be wrong.
In this instance, said person is Adriana Roche: an empathetic, extroverted, strategic problem solver. I’m delighted to announce that Adriana has joined team Uncork Capital as our first-ever (and long overdue) Head of Talent.
Over the past few years Jeff Clavier and I have endeavored to cement our firm’s position as a blue-chip institutional seed investor who commits early, helps with the hard stuff, and sticks around. Along those lines, we’ve recently brought on two exceptional investing partners and an experienced head of finance. Meanwhile, we’ve been quietly-but-consistently searching for a critical missing piece: someone who could be fully dedicated to helping Uncork founders think through tricky issues around culture, recruiting, DEI, remote work, and people operations.
As it often happens in venture capital, we had a little help from serendipity. A few months back, a new friend (whom I’d met through an old friend) called me to ask about a company. At the end of our call, he did the “how can I be helpful?” thing and I mentioned I was looking for a unicorn — a people person who had been a recruiter at both small and large tech companies, and who was also an experienced leader in employer branding and people ops. Of course, they would also need to have a sense of humor, a love of food, wine and travel, and ideally a foreign passport — or at least an accent.
My new friend told me about his friend Adriana, who checked all of those boxes and might be willing to offer some advice, but was definitely not looking. So, like any VC worth their carried interest, I asked for an introduction to her and a few days later gave her our pitch. It worked! Adriana is now a trusted confidante, experienced thought partner, and strategic advisor to Uncork portfolio company leaders on a range of people-related issues (see her full bio here).
Adriana has seen firsthand many of the team-related issues startups face. She joined us from Mural, a maker of visual team collaboration software, where she was Chief People Officer as the company grew from 150 employees to 900 in just two years. Prior to that, Adriana was VP, People and Places at Segment, a customer data company that grew from 50 people to 650 in four years and was acquired by Twilio in 2020. Earlier, Adriana led employer branding and managed a large recruiting team at Dropbox. She was also a recruiting manager at Salesforce and a recruiter at Google.
Farther back in time, she immigrated to the US from Venezuela, where she had far too many pets (including that anaconda) and learned to make Arepas, which she generously makes for anyone who shows up at her house hungry.
Please join me in welcoming Adriana to team Uncork! 🎉