The SaaS Report is pleased to announce 2017’s list of Top 25 Women Leaders in SaaS. These accomplished executives are some of the most influential in their field and command the respect of their peers both inside and outside their companies. Those who made the list were carefully selected based on their professional achievements and key factors including current and prior positions, company performance, industry recognition and influence as well as impact on organizations where they've held leadership roles. Research was conducted using a broad set of industry and company specific information.
1. Therese Tucker
Position: CEO and Founder
Therese Tucker made history in 2016 as the first female founder/CEO to lead a VC-backed Los Angeles startup to its IPO. Therese founded now $1.6 billion BlackLine, a cloud accounting software leader, in 2001, funding it on her own until 2013. The serial entrepreneur drained her bank accounts and 401(k), maxed out her credit cards and second-mortgaged her house to keep the company running until its big break in 2007, when she decided to go all-cloud with BlackLine. Reporting $37 million in sales in 2013, PE firm Silver Lake bought a majority stake at a $200 million valuation. With Tucker at the helm, BlackLine grew its revenue from $37 million in 2013, to $123 million in 2016. Before BlackLine, the pink-haired, certified yoga teacher and CEO worked for over 25 years in financial accounting and technology development. Most recently, Therese was the CTO of SunGuard Treasury Systems. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science and Mathematics from the University of Illinois.
2. Ginni Rometty
As the leader of global IT firm IBM, Ginni has worked for over half a decade to push the old guard industry giant along on its transformation into a 21st century tech leader. Tasked with her predecessor’s goal of doubling the company’s earnings in just five years, Ginni scrapped plans and championed a new vision of turning IBM into an all-cloud “solutions provider.” The CEO who grew up in a middle class family in Chicago and was forced to look after her three sibling through her parents’ divorce, learned early that “there’s no problem that can’t be solved.” After graduating from Northwestern, Rometty worked for two years at General Motors, the company which funded her college tuition. Ginni has worked with IBM for 36 years, as has been credited with championing the firm’s acquisition and integration of PwC consulting.
3. Peggy Johnson
Position: EVP of Business Development
Peggy Johnson is in charge of deal making at global tech giant Microsoft Corp. Alongside heading the company’s strategic partnerships and M&A activity, Peggy is also involved in the firm’s engagement with the VC community, and therefore spends a lot of time in Silicon Valley. Johnson previously worked for 24 years at Qualcomm, where she oversaw Qualcomm Labs and served as the Executive VP and President of Global Market Development. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from San Diego State University, Johnson joined GE as an engineer in their Military Electronics division. In 2016, she was inducted into the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame in 2013.
4. Stephanie Carullo
Position: Chief Operations Officer
Seasoned tech industry vet Stephanie Carullo joined cloud storage provider Box in July 2017 after over two decades and a half at leading enterprises including Apple, IBM, Telstra and Cisco. “While Stephanie is super hardcore about scaling technology organizations,” says CEO Aaron Levi, “she’s an adventurous Australian who is sometimes known to skydive, battle rattlesnakes, bungee jump and run marathons.” Most recently, Box’s COO served as the VP of US education sales at Apple. Stephanie will focus on heading go-to-market efforts as she helps Box reach its goal of hitting $500 million in sales this year, expecting to eventually surpass $1 billion. Based in Redwood City, Calif., box is a cloud content management and file sharing service for organizations and personal accounts, which employs a “freemium” business model.
5. Jennifer Tejada
When Jennifer joined PagerDuty in 2016, she came armed with about two decades of experience at the helm of leading software companies. Previously, she served as the President and CEO of digital performance management platform Keynote Systems, and has held leadership roles at Mincom, Merivale, New Zealand/AAPT, and Procter & Gamble. San Francisco, Calif.-based PagerDuty is a Digital Operations Management Platform which integrates machine data and human intelligence to improve visibility and agility across organizations. Tejada is helping to drive the company through its next stage of growth as it expands outside of DevOps. “Adding Jennifer to PagerDuty is like adding octane to jet fuel,” said Marc Andreessen of Andreessen Horowitz, an investor in PagerDuty, upon the appointment of Jennifer as CEO.
6. Gail Goodman
Company: Constant Contact
Position: Former CEO
In 1999, Gail Goodman became the CEO of pre-revenue, pre-product and pre-funding startup Constant Contact. Over the proceeding sixteen years, she led the company to its successful IPO and its acquisition by Endurance International Group for a whopping $1.1 billion. The tech visionary received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and an M.B.A. from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. Before Constant Contact, Goodman worked with various firms including Open Market Inc., Bain & Co, Dun & Bradstreet Software and Progress Software Corp. Waltham, MA-based Constant Contact is a leading provider of online marketing tools for small businesses and non-profits. Gail now sits on the board of directors at management software provider MINDBODY, startup accelerator MassChallenge and cloud-based commerce platform Shopify.
7. Kirsten Maas Helvey
Company: Cornerstone OnDemand
At the head of Cornerstone OnDemand, a $2.3 billion talent management software company, Kirsten is responsible for overseeing all aspects of global business operations and global client experience. Prior to Cornerstone, she was a member of the Supply Chain Operations Strategy Group at PwC and IBM Business Consulting Services. The COO, who started her career in marketing and public relations and then jumped to business consulting, says her defining moment was “taking a risk and leaving a corporate giant to jump aboard a startup with 30 people.” Kirsten is a member of Women in Technology International (WITI) and serves on the board of Junior Achievement of SoCal.
8. Priscilla Hung
Company: Guidewire Software
Priscilla took over as COO at Guidewire Software Inc. in May 2017 after twelve years with the firm. She is in charge of the company’s general operations and administration, including corporate development and strategy, technology alliances, information systems and technology, human resources, corporate services and real estate. Before Guidewire, she held management positions at Ariba and Sun Microsystems. Hung also serves on the board at Trov, Inc. and ContractRoom. She holds an M.Eng Industrial Engineering and Operations Research degree from Cornell University. Guidewire Software provides core back-end systems software to the global property, casual and worker’s compensation insurance industry.
9. Diana McKenzie
As Workday’s first Chief Information Officer, Diana oversees the $22.1 billion global information services organization’s internal deployment of Workday products and other technologies. Before joining the provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources in February 2016, she was working with Workday client Amgen. At Amgen, Diana served as senior VP and CIO for over a decade and introduced the company to Workday software. Diana holds a BS in Computer Information Systems and Computer Technology from Purdue University and has held leadership roles at firms including Eli Lily and Company. Outside of work, Diana says she enjoys spending time with her family in efforts to generate “maximum doses of adrenaline and/or endorphins.”
10. Susan St Ledger
Position: Chief Revenue Officer
Susan started her role as Chief Revenue Officer and Senior VP at Splunk in May 2016. Previously, she held at least three senior VP roles at Salesforce.com, where she worked for twelve years. When asked how she climbed her way up the ranks, Susan told the Wall Street Journal in ten words or less, “cross-functional experience, taking risks and consistently hiring great people.” Ledger, who received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from the University of Scranton, says she always thought she would return to school to get her M.B.A., yet was presented with better opportunities in the workplace. Before Salesforce, she was the Chief of Staff for the President of Sun Microsystems. The tech executive says her first job as a software developer at the NSA taught her how to deal with a lot of responsibility at a very young age. San Francisco-based Splunk is a $9.55 billion company which provides operation intelligence software that monitors, reports and analyzes real-time machine data for enterprise clients.
11. Clara Shih
Company: Hearsay Systems
Position: CEO and Founder
After pioneering a completely new business segment while working at Salesforce.com with the creation of “The FaceForce App,” Clara went off to write a New York Times best-seller about the new social business app economy and founded her own company. Arriving in Chicago at age four as a Chinese immigrant with no English language skills, the CEO of Hearsay Social gained a tremendous amount of resilience and learned how to embrace being different. While at Stanford, Shih interned at Microsoft, where she developed the RSS news aggregator for Outlook. The tech executive also received a second masters in Internet studies from Oxford and has held various leadership positions at firms including Google, where she worked in corporate strategy. The ambitious entrepreneur is a member of Starbucks’ board of directors, is involved in various philanthropy projects and has been named a number of titles including earning a spot on Fortune and Ad Age’s “40 Under 40.”
12. Nitsa Zuppas
Position: Chief Marketing Officer
As the head of marketing at cloud-computing company Veeva, Nitsa oversees all corporate marketing programs, including branding, communications, lead generation, sales enablement and product marketing. When she joined the Pleasanton-Calif.-based software provider in March 2013, Zuppas brought with her about two decades of marketing and technology experience, with a focus on communications and CRM software. Nitsa has held senior positions at First Virtual Group, as well as Siebel Foundation, where she oversaw programs such as Meth Project, Siebel Scholars and the Siebel Stem Cell Institute. Under her leadership, the foundation was named the third most effective philanthropy in the world by Barron’s magazine and received a White House commendation. She holds a bachelors of arts degree from California State University. Veeva is a $7.9 billion cloud-based business solutions provider for the global life sciences industry.
13. Julie Dodd
Company: The Ultimate Software Group
Position: Chief Services Officer
As the CSO of a $5.5 billion cloud company, Julie oversees support and implementation of services for Ultimate Software customers. Julie has earned her way up the ranks at the Weston, FL-based company since joining in 2007 as a Director of Product Strategy and has served in various roles including Senior VP and General Manager of Mid-Market Services. Prior to Ultimate Software, Dodd provided solution services for large scale implementations, operations efficiencies projects and new cloud product launches for various service providers. She also worked as Ceridian as Director Implementation and the Interim VP, Small Business. Throughout her career, she has found enormous success in helping businesses launch new software applications and large scale process improvements. Ultimate Software is a cloud-based human capital management solution for businesses.
14. Robin Ritenour
Position: SVP, Business Development
Robin is a seasoned strategic marketing and sales professional with a breadth of experience at leading SaaS companies including Adobe, Salesforce, and SAP, as well as marketing companies and major brands such as BMG Entertainment, Lehman Brothers and Goldman Sachs. Before Marketo, Robin was vice president of Partner Strategy and Alliances at Adobe, vice president, Strategic Alliances and GTM at Salesforce and global director of Strategic Alliances at SAP Global Marketing. She holds a B.S.E in Biomedical Engineering from Duke University. As SVP of Business Development at Marketo since 2016, Ritenour leads Business Development, Strategic Alliance and Partners teams. Marketo is the leading provider of engagement marketing software and solutions for businesses.
15. Raja Hammoud
Company: Coupa Software
Position: SVP, Products
Raja is instrumental in how Coupa thinks about products and development as she helps the firm focus on how to best drive innovation and customer success. Before becoming Senior VP of Product at the $1.7 billion software giant, Raja was the company’s VP of Product Marketing & Management for over five years. With more than 17 years of enterprise software experience, Hammoud had previously worked at Adobe Systems Inc., directing product marketing for its business process management arm. At Adobe, Raja drove the solutions roadmap for the company’s Customer Experience Management product line, and spearheaded the development of Adobe’s Social Brand Engagement Solution. She holds a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Computer Science with high distinction and a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Mathematics from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon. Coupa is a cloud-based spend management software company located in San Mateo, Calif.
16. Elissa Fink
Company: Tableau Software
Position: Chief Marketing Officer
A decade after joining what was then an early-stage startup, Elissa leads strategy, planning and executing for all marketing worldwide at Seattle-based Tableau Software. She describes herself on LinkedIn as an “analytically-oriented marketer who thanks her lucky stars every day to get to lead marketing for Tableau.” As a self-described extrovert, Fink told GeekWire in an interview that her best advice for managing everyday work and life is to “be your authentic self.” She also tries to start every meeting with a laugh. Before joining the business analytics software provider, Elissa was EVP Marketing at marketing information company IXI Corporation. She also has experience working in executive positions at Tele Atlas, TopTier Software, Claritas Inc. and the Wall Street Journal. Fink received an B.A. from Santa Clara University and an MBA in Marketing and Decision Systems from the University of Southern California.
17. Ann Winblad
Company: Hummer Winblad
Long-time Silicon Valley investor Ann Winblad co-founded venture capital firm Hummer Winblad Venture Partners in 1989. From a small town in Minnesota and the oldest of six siblings, the tech investor began her career as a systems programmer at the Federal Reserve Bank. Six years after founding software company Open Systems Inc. in 1976 with a $500 investment, she sold it for $15 million and moved to San Francisco to launch the next phase of her career with enterprise software focused HWVP. Ann received a BA in mathematics and in business administration from the College of St. Catherine, as well as an MA in education and international economics from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, Minnesota. She also has an honorary Doctorate of Law from the University of St. Thomas. The entrepreneur, author, consultant and specialized industry expert has served on the board of various startups and public companies including MuleSoft, OptiMine, Sonatype and Ace Metrix.
18. Ashley Glover
Position: Chief Revenue Officer
Ashley became Executive VP and Chief Revenue Officer of RealPage in August 2016, after leaving the company for three years to serve as a Managing Partner at KAG Ventures. She has over 15 years of experience leading teams in North America, Europe, China and India. In her previous role as RealPage’s Executive VP, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer, Ashley oversaw “significant new sales bookings growth and nearly 20% organic revenue growth,” said CEO Steve Winn in a press release. In her new expanded role, Glover will help steer the company through the sales and operations revamp it needs to achieve its goal of $1 billion in annual revenue and 30% adjusted EBITDA margins. Ashley holds a B.S. in computer science from Southern Methodist University and an M.B.A from Harvard University. RealPage Inc. is a leading provider of on-demand software and software-enabled services for the multifamily, commercial, single-family and vacation rental housing industries.
19. Kira Makagon
Position: EVP, Innovation
Kira is a serial entrepreneur and innovative tech industry leader who enjoys sharing lessons learned from being a veteran “only woman in the room.” The only child of her Ukrainian Jewish immigrant parents, and transplanted to San Francisco as a teenager, Kira’s endless passion and perseverance has made her a role model for young women in the tech industry. As the EVP of Innovation at RingCentral, Kira leads product, engineering and operations employees across four continents. She is an avid writer and public speaker, having co-founded a handful of companies herself, including Octane and RedAril, and serves as an advisor to many early-stage companies. RingCentral is a $3.15 billion provider of global enterprise cloud communications and collaboration solutions.
20. Anna Curzon
Position: Chief Partner Officer
Most recently Xero’s New Zealand Managing Director, Anna transitioned to the role of Chief Partner Officer in February 2017, spearheading product management, development, design and marketing. Before joining the cloud accounting industry leader which caters to small to medium sized businesses, she worked at Spark, where she was a general manager of Digital First. Prior to that, she spent 18 years at ASB working in auditing, finance, innovation and design and marketing. The New Zealand-born leader says was “absolutely addicted” to helping small business succeed. At Xero she aims to create an eco-system that allows small businesses to connect to each other, the government and larger businesses. With Anna at the helm, the firm expects to reach one million customers in 2017 as it opens its first regional office outside of a major city and works towards its goal of hitting $1 billion in annualized committed monthly revenue.
21. Lyn Campbell
Position: VP, Global Operations
As VP of Global Operations at enterprise cybersecurity company Proofpoint for over three years, Lyn is responsible for cloud-based Proofpoint infrastructure as well as the firm’s Compliance and Security Teams. She has over 20 years of industry experience, most recently leading Yahoo!’s international media product engineering team, which served hundreds of millions of global customers. Campbell has helped drive success at SaaS companies, leading teams at Sybase, WebEx and Intraware (now Flexera software). Lyn received a B.A. in English from the University of California at Berkeley. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Proofpoint offers SaaS products for inbound email security, outbound data loss prevention, social media, mobile devices, digital risk, email encryption, electronic discovery (“eDiscovery”) and email archiving.
22. April Underwood
Position: VP of Product
April arrived at Slack a little over two years ago as Head of Platform and in a short period of time rose to VP of Product. April earns high marks from Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield who believes her combination of skills in engineering and business development make her an ideal person to have at the product helm. The tech specialist really hit her stride in her prior leadership roles at Twitter from 2010 to 2015, where she eventually rose to Director of Product. Previously, April was a product technology manager at Google and product manager at Travelocity. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin and earned her MBA from Berkeley. April sits on the Board of Zillow.
23. Wendi Sturgis
Position: Chief Customer Officer
As a public speaker, mentor and tech executive with a breadth of experience working with some of the U.S.’s largest companies, Wendi has become a role model for women in STEM. After graduating from the Georgia Institute of Technology with a B.S. in Industrial Management, she dove head first into her successful career in the tech, media and internet sectors, in which she has worked with a number of leading companies including Oracle Corp., Gartner, Right Media, and Yahoo!, where she was most recently Vice President of Account Management for North America. Wendi is the Vice Chair of the National board of Step Up Women’s Network, an organization that works to end the high school drop out crisis. She also serves on the board at Dailyworth.com and Student Transportation. As a member on the Georgia Tech Presidential Advisory Board, she helps to “show young people that STEM studies are exciting, rewarding and can create incredible career opportunities.” Yext is a NYC-based digital knowledge management company which works to boost brand awareness, drive foot traffic and increase sales for businesses.
24. Krista Anderson Copperman
Position: Chief Customer Officer
Krista joined hyper-growth, cloud-based identity management provider Okta in April 2014 as its CCO, where she oversees customer support, customer success and training as the company scales internationally. Prior to Okta, Anderson served in various positions at Salesforce.com, most recently as the Senior VP of Customers For Life, where she managed a portfolio of enterprise customers including HP, Cisco, Dell and Allergan. Krista received her bachelor’s degree in psychology at the University of Oregon. Outside of her work at the $2 billion tech unicorn, she enjoys skiing, traveling, home remodeling and interior design products. Okta is an San Francisco-based integrated identity and mobility management platform built from the ground up in the cloud.
25. Alison Elworthy
Position: VP, Operations
At Hubspot, Alison is responsible for the inbound marketing and sales software company’s operating system, pricing and packaging and strategic planning. In her tenure at the marketing tech company, she has held various roles including Marketing Operations Manager, Sales Operations Senior Manager and Director of Operations. Prior to Hubspot, she served as a User Experience Specialist at Fidelity Investments, where she focused on the customer experience of their business and customer facing products and websites. Alison is a board member at Women in the Enterprise of Science and Technology (WEST), a learning community that provides women in the enterprise of science and technology with inspiration, knowledge and connections so to help them reach their full potential. Elworthy received a BS in Human Factors Engineering from Tufts University and an MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.