A few weeks ago, CEO & Co-Founder of San Francisco-based Hearsay Social
Labs (a social media enterprise company) Clara Shih was named as a director for Starbucks. Quite an accomplishment for anyone, but especially at the ripe old age of 29!
Considering how few Asian Americans there are at the CEO, upper management or board of directors level, I was pleasantly surprised to hear about Shih’s news. And women are notoriously poorly represented in Silicon Valley board rooms. In fact, women in general are poorly represented in all businesses (only 16% of all board seats in the U.S.). So it’s a bit ironic that Shih was named a director at a non-tech focused company, where she could probably add a lot more value.
I’m not sure what Shih knows of the coffee and retail business, but her knowledge of social networking – having worked on social and enterprise related products at Google and Salesforce.com, as well as her work at Hearsay, will I’m sure bring a different perspective to the Starbuck’s board. I use Starbucks all the time to meet up with friends and business partners (as well as for my coffee fix). Congratulations to Shih on her new role!
Editor’s Note, 12/29/11 @4:53pm: The article originally stated that Clara Shih was with “Hearsay Labs,” but has been corrected to “Hearsay Social”