Cloud communications platform Twilio has seen exponential growth since its inception in March 2008. In its most recent quarter, its revenue was at $668.9 million, an increase of 67% year over year.
The startup that has achieved unicorn status continues to shatter market expectations, onboarding a series of well-known tech companies to its user base, including Uber, Airbnb, Reddit, Netflix, and many more.
The Org looks into the careers of the people behind the cloud-based text and voice communication company that has taken Silicon Valley by storm.
Known to be down-to-earth and frugal, Twilio’s CEO Jeff Lawson first came up with the idea of a voice messaging program during the Global Financial Crisis in 2008. At the time, it was almost impossible to find any investors, so Lawson and his co-founders Evan Cooke and John Wolthuis forwent their salaries to fund the startup.
Now, Twilio has grown to be valued at over $64.52 billion, and Lawson credits this to the company’s customers.
“The way you get there is by experimenting, is by having hypotheses that get proved or disproved through the course of work, and championing teams to take this experimental approach to learning what customers need,” Lawson told the Financial Times.
Lawson himself is somewhat of a serial entrepreneur. When he was still a student at the University of Michigan, he decided to take four years off to start Versity.com, a startup that provided lecture notes for college students. Soon after, he founded Stubhub, a ticket reselling company, and became its CTO. After finally graduating from university with a B.S. in Computer Science and Film and Video, Lawson joined Amazon as a Technical Product Manager. It was there he first got the inspiration to build Twilio.
Of course, Twilio’s growth could not have been achieved without its experienced executive team.
Focused on (successfully) bringing revenue to the company as Chief Revenue Officer is Marc Boroditsky. Boroditsky has been with Twillio since February of 2015, when he joined as VP & GM of Authentication. Another seasoned entrepreneur, the UC San Diego graduate started his first company, Novus Technology, in 1990. He later founded Numera Corporation, a consumer authentication solution, in 1994;then from 1996-2011, Boroditsky focused on working on Passlogix, an Enterprise Single Sign-On solution that Oracle later acquired. Most recently, the executive was the President of COO of Authy.
Another influential leader at Twilio is George Hu, the company’s COO, who joined in 2017 -- a year after the company went public. Formerly the COO at Salesforce, Hu brought a wealth of enterprise experience with him to the company. Following the trend of having an entrepreneurial background, the Harvard graduate was the founder of Peer, a feedback and performance platform. He currently sits as a member on the board of Yelp.
Overseeing the company’s finances is CFO Khozema Shipchandler. Shipchandler took over the position after the departure of Lee Kirkpatrick in 2018. Before joining Twilio, the Indiana University graduate had been with General Electric for more than 20 years, serving in multiple leadership positions, including CFO and CCO.
With its users being a primary focus and driving force behind Twilio’s success, Chief Customer Officer Glenn Weinstein has the critical responsibility of representing those users’ voices in the company. After leaving the U.S. Navy, Weinstein worked as a Systems Integration Consultant for Lockheed Martin Integrated Business Solutions. He later joined WebMethods, a computer software company where he was VP of Technical Services for over two years. In November 2006, Weinstein joined Appirio, a Salesforce and Google consulting company later acquired by Wipro, where he was the SVP of Global Services.
Managing Twilio’s technology strategy and platform development is CTO Jeremiah Brazeau. Brazeau is a relatively recent addition to the Twilio executive team, joining in October last year. Previously, the graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology and Northeastern University was a Distinguished Architect at Salesforce, where he oversaw Salesforce’s Commerce Cloud. He also has experience working at Amazon Robotics, where he was a Principal Engineer.
Bringing more than 20 years experience and managing information systems at Twilio is CIO Michelle Grover. Grover previously served as the SVP of Software Development at SAP Concur, where she led a global team of mobile and platform engineers. She currently sits on the advisory board of Techtonica, an education provider that serves non-binary women interested in software engineering careers. She is also a volunteer at multiple female S.T.E.M. organizations.
For many tech companies, positive social change has been a big focus over the past few years. Leading these changes at Twilio is Chief Social Impact Officer Erin Reilly. An executive who has experience working in sustainability for big name brands including Nike, Yahoo and Google, Reilly focuses on generating long-term value for stakeholders.
“I had a sense that business can and should fundamentally make the world a better place,” Reilly said in an interview with Forbes. “The path forward really clicked when I joined Twilio and focused on making Twilio.org, our social impact arm, a source of revenue. In selling Twilio software and services to nonprofits at a reduced rate, those organizations leverage the power of digital communications to change and improve lives.”
These are just some names behind the record-breaking unicorn. You can see the rest of Twilio’s executive team and explore the 86 other positions on The Org’s database here.