Coaching Leaders for Business Impact featuring Christine Tao

Christine Tao is the Co-founder and CEO of Sounding Board, a venture-backed startup that recently raised $30 million in Series B funding and has grown four-fold over the past 12 months. Sounding Board’s mission is to help companies develop impactful leaders by leveraging AI-powered pairing technology with a network of leadership coaches.

The idea for Sounding Board started when Christine was provided leadership coaching to transition into an executive leadership role at Tapjoy. Tapjoy set Christine up to work with an executive coach, Lori Mazan.

Christine quickly realized the impact Lori’s coaching was having on her career success, and the two of them acknowledged how crucial it is to bring coaching to all levels of leadership. Christine and Lori’s ideas blossomed into the successful, growing company Sounding Board is today, helping bring leadership coaching to companies and employees around the country.

In this episode, Catherine and Christine talk about the benefits of leadership coaching for both employees and employers, Christine’s experience growing a venture-backed company, what she looked for when hiring her financial partner, finding and retaining talent, and the importance of mission and narrative for fundraising.

Topics include:

  • The four types of leaders
  • Relationships between coaches and coachees
  • How CFOs bring needed structure and discipline to startups
  • Fundraising as a learned skill
  • How COVID helped accelerate Sounding Board’s growth
  • Advice for founders of startups
  • The power of asking for what you want
  • Hiring practices in today’s job market
  • The best advice Christine has received from a coach
  • How coaching can drive employee retention and engagement
  • And other topics…


Christine Tao is the co-founder & CEO at Sounding Board, a venture-backed startup with the vision to help companies develop impactful leaders by leveraging AI-powered pairing technology with a network of leadership coaches.

Before co-founding Sounding Board, Christine was a Senior Vice President of Developer Relations at Tapjoy, a venture-backed, leading mobile advertising & publishing network, and previously led e-commerce partnerships and strategy at YouTube. Christine advises several startups and is a member of the executive committee HR West & NCHRA (Northern California Human Resources Association).

Christine holds an MBA in Marketing & Operations from Wharton and a BA in Business Administration from UC Berkeley.

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