BUILD
Listen to Season 4

BUILD is back with all new episodes! (You can catch up on season 3 here.) This season is all about the journey to the boardroom. We will be interviewing seasoned and new-comer B2B software directors and highlight the steps that many successful executives in our network have taken to get a seat at the table.

At the expansion stage, the role of an independent board seat becomes increasingly important. With a number of investors now sitting around the table, CEOs are inclined to want to bring someone on who does not have financial ties to the business with a purely independent point of view. Having an executive operator who truly understands the business model, and ideally your market, can really make board conversations more meaningful. And depending on the gaps of the business having an exec who can fill the go-to-market gap becomes hugely important to the the high level strategic decisions being made in the boardroom.

There is not one path to get to the top, but there certainly some underlying themes on how this subset of elite individuals within the B2B software ecosystem have risen to this rank.

In this season we’ve pulled in a diverse set of executives who will share their unique stories – hopefully their insights help you either consider what type of persona to bring onto your board if you are a CEO, and help you think through what your path will be to get to the boardroom as an independent director. Happy listening 🎧


New This Week

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Featured This Week

Caroline Tsay wanted to be a neurosurgeon when she grew up. Plans changed! Caroline has held leadership positions at Yahoo and HPE and is currently the CEO of Compute Software. She also sits on the board of Coca-Cola, Rosetta Stone and Morningstar. So how did this all come to be? In 2013, her boss introduced her to an executive coach that pushed her to build her own brand and explore board opportunities. In this episode, Caroline gives key insights on leveraging your network to find board seats, how board positions can make you a better leader and advice for executives looking to join their first board.

Upcoming Guests
Who's on BUILD

These operators have been where you are and know what you need to do to build a successful team, business model, pricing structure, office culture…you name it. Hear from key leaders in SaaS every week as they walk you through some of their most trying times in business and how they managed to not only make it to the other side – but to truly thrive.

Episode Guide

Blair Christie

Advisory Board Member
Logikcull

Karen Appleton Page

Board Member
Deputy

John True

Board Member

Steve Collins

Board Member
Shopify

Anita Sands

Board Member
Semantec

Bill Conroy

Board Member
Instructure

Jenny Cheng

Board Member
Loopio

Caroline Tsay

Board Member
Coca-Cola

Episode Guide
BUILD: Episode 33
BUILD: Episode 34
BUILD: Episode 35
BUILD: Episode 36
BUILD: Episode 37
BUILD: Episode 38
Meet the host
Blair Christie

Blair Christie (MINDBODY): The Power of Mentorship in Getting a Seat at the Table

Welcome to Season 4 of BUILD! This season is all about the journey to the boardroom. We will be interviewing top leaders to highlight the steps that many successful executives have taken to get a seat at the table. This week, we have Blair Christie, former CMO of Cisco and Board Member for MINDBODY. Learn about her transition from operator to board member, how mentorship played a role in getting on a board, how to get yourself heard at the table and much more.


Karen Appleton Page

Karen Appleton Page (Deputy): Finding Chemistry With a CEO Before Committing to a Board

It's imperative to determine that you will have a good working relationship, and share the same values with a CEO, well before you take a board seat. Karen Appleton Page was employee number seven at Box and her role evolved with the booming business over her nine year tenure. When she began seriously exploring board opportunities this year, she realized that having the right chemistry with the CEO, much like she had with Aaron Levie at Box, would be key in finding the right fit. In this episode, learn how Karen broke boundaries as the first Industry GTM leader at Box and about her recent journey to Deputy's board.


Jenny Cheng

Jenny Cheng (Loopio): Balancing a Board Seat with Your Day Job

Jenny Cheng led product program management at Salesforce during their explosive growth period from 2002 to 2011. Today she is an executive at PayPal focused on the intersection between the customer and the product. Learn what she did when she decided to get serious about joining boards, why she chose to be on the board of a smaller startup vs. a large public company and how to balance a board seat with your day job.


Steve Collins & Bill Conroy

Steve Collins & Bill Conroy (INST): Finding the Stage of Growth You Are Best Suited for as a Board Member

Steve Collins and Bill Conroy both sit on Instructure's (NYSE: INST) board among many others including Shopify, MuleSoft, etc. Steve has had a successful career as CFO (ExactTarget) and Bill with a focus in sales earlier on and CEO (Initiate Systems, acquired by IBM) later in his operator career. With distinctive skill sets, they naturally had different paths to the board room, but their messages around finding the stage of growth that is best suited for you are quite similar. Listen as they give advice on when it's the right time to join a board and how to play on your strengths as an effective Director.


Anita Sands

Anita Sands (Pure Storage): You Got on Your First Board. Now What?

Anita Sands has spent much of her career in the financial services industry including leadership roles at UBS, Citigroup and RBC. She currently resides on the boards of Symantec, ServiceNow and Pure Storage as well as advisory positions at Accompany, Thrive Global and Docusign. Anita has helped many businesses reach new levels with her strategic insight. Learn how to not only get on your first board, but navigate the position as a new board member. Also listen as Anita explains the importance of selecting the right board members and using them as a strategic assest for your company.


Caroline Tsay

Caroline Tsay (Coca-Cola): How a Board Seat Can Make You a Stronger Operator

Caroline Tsay wanted to be a neurosurgeon when she grew up. Plans changed! Caroline has held leadership positions at Yahoo and HPE and is currently the CEO of Compute Software. She also sits on the board of Coca-Cola, Rosetta Stone and Morningstar. So how did this all come to be? In 2013, her boss introduced her to an executive coach that pushed her to build her own brand and explore board opportunities. In this episode, Caroline gives key insights on leveraging your network to find board seats, how board positions can make you a better leader and advice for executives looking to join their first board.


Devon McDonald

Devon is a Partner at OpenView where she has worked since 2009. She currently manages the firm’s Ecosystem and sits on OpenView’s investment committee. Over the course of her nine year tenure, she has led efforts in Marketing, Recruiting and Sales support for the firm’s portfolio companies. Today, she focuses on connecting our portfolio with OpenView’s network of executives, advisors and customers.

Connect with Devon on Twitter @DevMcDee.

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