For our latest episode, we welcome Claire Hughes Johnson, the COO of Stripe. Claire has been an executive at Stripe for more than 6 years, joining when the company was ~160 people. She’s overseen an incredible growth cycle for the company, which has most recently been valued at nearly $100Bn+
April and Jana talk with Claire about her path into tech from her early stint in politics. Claire shares:
“It's actually very entrepreneurial too. You raise a ton of money and you spend a lot of it really fast... but it was very scrappy, you're doing seven jobs....so campaigns are actually great training for startups.”
“What I was looking for in my career was impact. You want to do something important, you want to do something that matters....And for me, that's about economic growth, job creation. Like how can we do things that help...I still have the idealistic Silicon Valley view that tech can be a helper.”
We also dig into the COO hiring process: what was Patrick and the Stripe team looking for? How did Claire get to know them? What does the COO role entail? How has it shifted over time? Claire shares:
“If you're at a growth stage company, it's whatever the company needs at any given moment. So it's going to be changing...in line with your skills. And by the way, my portfolio...has changed a lot over the years. And it's changing again right now. And I think that's because Stripe is changing so much and that's the right thing to do. In fact, we portfolio shift a lot across the executive team, which I think is really healthy because what you need in one moment is very different than another one.”
Lastly, we zoom out to talk about how serving on the Hallmark board has been a helpful reminder to broaden perspective beyond Silicon Valley.
Each week, we wrap up with a Shoutout to people who’ve inspired and helped us along the way. Claire highlights Condoleezza Rice, Stacy Brown Philpot, and the next generation of founders coming up in the industry.
The #ANGELS Pod brings you conversations about the latest tech trends with the people inventing and shaping them in Silicon Valley and beyond. Hosted by the co-founders of #ANGELS, an investment collective: Jessica Verrilli, April Underwood, Jana Messerschmidt, Chloe Sladden, Katie Stanton, and Vijaya Gadde. We cover personal stories about breaking into tech and scaling up, and inside looks at the most interesting startups, from the people building them.
This podcast is just getting started and we’d love your feedback. You can reach us on Twitter @HashtagAngels and thanks in advance for listening!
The #ANGELS Podcast is a production of Haitch Industries. Our theme music is by Tobey Forsman of Whipsong Music. The episode was produced and edited by Matt Herrero.