Get to Know 12 Black Operators at the Top of Their Game

A core part of Operator Collective has always been to bring together active operators from diverse backgrounds who are building the world’s most successful companies. Besides having the exact expertise and contacts founders need as they scale their companies, they also bring their outsider perspectives to shake up the venture world — the doors to which have long been inaccessible to people from underrepresented groups. 

To celebrate Black History Month, we are highlighting 12 incredible Black leaders in our community who have joined us on this journey and are crushing it day in and day out. You need to know these exceptional executives who are changing the game and the face of tech for future generations.

Ebony Beckwith (@EbonyBeckwith)
Salesforce Chief Business Officer & Chief of Staff to Marc Benioff

Ebony is all about mentoring others, especially those who may be following a nonlinear path to leadership like her own. With two decades in operations and tech, she holds an influential role at Salesforce, where she’s responsible for aligning the company, operationalizing core values, and leading all strategic projects, relationships, and initiatives of the Office of the Co-CEO. She also oversees the company’s global philanthropic strategy as CEO of the Salesforce Foundation, and sits on the boards of Poshmark and Warriors Community Foundation.

Stacy Brown-Philpot (@sbp04)
HP, Noom, Nordstrom & StockX Board Director

As former CEO of TaskRabbit (leading the company’s acquisition by Ikea in 2017), Stacy has a deep understanding of what it takes to be an exceptional CEO. From building the Black Googler Network, to serving on the board of Black Girls CODE, to more recently becoming a founding member of SoftBank’s Opportunity Fund (which invests in Black, Latinx, and Native American founders), Stacy is also passionate about creating diverse and inclusive opportunities for others. We’re incredibly lucky — as are our portfolio founders — to have her on our very own Board of Advisors

LaFawn Davis (@lafawn
Indeed Senior Vice President, Environmental, Social & Governance

LaFawn has led diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives for more than 15 years, championing the ‘culture add’ of bringing in talented diverse professionals as opposed to focusing only on ‘culture fit.’ In addition to her role at Indeed, she’s currently an advisory board member at Lesbians Who Tech and PowerToFly. She previously held key senior leadership roles at global technology companies like Google, Yahoo, PayPal, and Twilio. 

Monique Dorsainvil (@MoDorsainvil)
Facebook (Meta) Public Policy Director

Monique spent seven and a half years at the Obama White House, and during that time was named a World Economic Forum Global Shaper. Now at Meta, she engages with third-party think tank and advocacy organizations and was a part of the core team that spearheaded the company’s Civil Rights Audit to look at policy and product from an anti-discrimination lens. Monique also serves on the boards of Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the National Science and Technology Medals Foundation.

Michael Kieran
Tray.io Head of Talent

Michael believes companies need to show genuine empathy, care, and concern for their greatest competitive asset — their people. At Tray.io, he’s leading DEI efforts and growing the tech company with an eye on not just being a great place to work, but also a great place to be from. Previously, he headed up recruiting for information security leader Duo, scaling the company’s team 10x while building a new c-suite and new generation of executive hires.  

Danielle Lee
Warner Music Group President, Warner Music Artist & Fan Experiences

Danielle is an accomplished marketing executive who’s been widely recognized as a change agent for some of the world’s most respected brands. In addition to her current position leading a centralized, in-house creative agency for the Warner Record Music roster and third party artists, she led brand and multi-platform fan marketing globally at the NBA and served as Spotify’s global vice president of partner solutions as the company grew from $3B to nearly $30B following its IPO. She’s also on the board of Bath & Body Works and American Documentary. 

Anita Lynch (@LynchAnita)
New Relic Chief Data Officer

Anita’s passion is scaling businesses that bring tech, strategy, and people together for innovation excellence. As New Relic’s first chief data officer, she’s focused on extracting business value and competitive advantage from data to drive long-term growth strategy. She also led successful data science, analytics, architecture, and governance teams at Yahoo, Amazon, and Disney, as well as strategy consulting at Bain and global business operations and expansion at Apple.

Tekedra Mawakana (@TechTekedra)
Waymo (Alphabet) Co-CEO

In addition to leading overall strategy for the autonomous driving technology company Waymo, Tekedra is a board member at Intuit, as well as an advisor to Lyte, Boom Supersonic, the Consumer Technology Association, and of course Operator Collective. She’s an expert in navigating complex high-profile issues and previously led global teams across five continents at eBay, Yahoo, AOL, and Startec. 

Richelle Parham (@RichelleParham)
Universal Music Group President, Global eCommerce and Business Development

Richelle has a wealth of experience in eCommerce, consumer marketing, audience growth, and business development, with a track record of leading high-performing business and marketing teams. She is also an active board director at Best Buy, Elf, and LabCorp, and previously held key roles at eBay, Visa, and WestRiver Group. 

Merline Saintil (@msaintil)
Fortune 500 Board Member & Black Women On Boards Founder

One of Merline’s mantras is ‘lift as you climb,’ and she does just that every day with words of wisdom for our community and well beyond. Earlier this month, the organization she co-founded in 2020, Black Women on Boards, rang the Nasdaq opening bell. Merline is also a lead board director at space exploration company Rocket Lab, as well as on the boards of TD Synnex, GitLab, Evolv Technology, Lightspeed Commerce, and Alkami Technology.  

Bonita Stewart (@BColemanStewart)
Gradient Ventures (Google) Board Partner 

Bonita has been with Google for over 15 years, following long tenures at both Chrysler and IBM. She’s currently the board partner for the company’s venture fund focused on early-stage AI companies. Previously, she oversaw Google’s partnerships with the largest US publishers across search, news, media/entertainment, commerce, and mobile apps. Bonita serves on the Deckers, PagerDuty, and Volta Charging corporate boards, and recently co-authored the book, A Blessing: Women of Color Teaming Up to Lead, Empower and Thrive.

Tracy Williams
New Relic Chief People and Diversity Officer

Tracy oversees New Relic’s people and DEI strategies in support of the company’s business goals, culture, and core values. She leads all people programs with an eye on ensuring representation of diverse perspectives and experiences — through talent acquisition and org design as well as rewards, operations, and social impact. Tracy has more than 15 years of HR experience including leadership positions with Target (Mervyns) and Michaels Arts & Crafts stores.  

We believe culture, diversity, and operational excellence are a key part of building truly great companies. Learn more on our website or by connecting with us on Twitter and LinkedIn