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Vendini hires first chief people officer

Susan Hollingshead hopes to provide a "rich environment for employee development and commitment" as the Silicon Valley ticketer's first CPO

By IQ on 30 Jan 2017

Susan Hollingshead, chief people officer, Vendini

Vendini CPO Susan Hollingshead

Vendini has appointed Susan Hollingshead its first ‘chief people officer’ (CPO).

Hollingshead, who joins from solar power company Sungevity, will “play a vital role as we continue to grow, recruit new talent and ensure that Vendini’s core values resonate with everyone on our team,” says Mark Tacchi, CEO of the San Francisco-based ticketing and event marketing firm.

Vendini, which topped US$2bn in gross sales in September and recently raised $20 million in series-A funding, looks to “jumpstart 2017 with continued progress under Susan’s leadership”, adds Tachi, who says the company’s success is “owed to our kick-ass employees and our infectious culture”.

An increasing number of companies, especially tech firms, are hiring a CPO, which is roughly equivalent to a chief human resources officer.

“Vendini’s success is owed to our kick-ass employees and our infectious culture. Susan will play a vital role as we continue to grow”

Writing on LinkedIn in 2014, Reputation.com founder Michael Fertik admitted chief people officer is “a title with the potential of sounding a little precious, like the ‘vice-president of happiness’, ‘brand evangelist’, ‘digital overlord’ or other Silicon Valley labels that dress up what are really garden-variety gigs”, but said the  position isn’t a “phone-it-in role – nor is it a cutesy name for the traditional human resources function. It’s a strategic shift in how we think about people, culture and enterprise value over the long term at a company.”

At Sungevity, Hollinghead oversaw the company’s growth from 50 to more than 1,000 in a six-year period.

“As Vendini grows, I want to ensure that its culture thrives, providing a rich environment for employee development and commitment,” she comments. “A skilled and dedicated workforce will amplify Vendini’s commitment to outstanding customer experience. Through developing a comprehensive HR [human resources] and shared services function, employees will be more energised and our members will continue to flourish.”

Vendini last summer launched a strategic business unit (SBU) for live music, headed up by Ticketmaster and AEG Live alumnus Mark Meyerson.


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