Sounding Board, Inc. The Global Disruptor in Leadership Development, Reports Additions to its Leadership Team Amidst Continued Growth for Coaching Services

SaaS Coaching Platform Provider enters a new chapter of growth as it enables the development of business leaders

August 26, 2021 07:00 AM Pacific Daylight Time

FOSTER CITY, Calif. – Sounding Board, Inc., the premiere virtual leadership development platform powering the enterprise coaching revolution, today announced the expansion of its leadership team with the appointments of industry experts Ron Buell as Vice President of Engineering and Niall MacGearailt, as Senior Vice President of Finance. 

Demand for leadership coaching has skyrocketed since the global pandemic and the rapid shift to a remote workforce. Sounding Board has been growing to meet demand, with seamless, customized enterprise-first solutions to unify coaching management, aggregate data across programs and provide actionable insights for measurable business outcomes. 

Leading HR technology analyst John Sumser of HRExaminer shared, “Of all of the functions performed in an organization, coaching for effective performance has been limited by the historic factors geography, cost, schedule, and the idea that such a precious resource should be used by the most senior people. Sounding Board shreds the idea and delivers an affordable, accessible tool for performance improvement across the organization. Imagine what you could do if your critical team members had access to the very best in coaching tailored to their specific needs. It’s about time that the whole organization enjoyed the benefits of this feedback loop.”

As a result, in the seven months since its Series A, which coincided with the pandemic, Sounding Board exceeded revenue projections, doubled company headcount to keep pace with new and existing customer growth, and increased the global footprint and size of its unparalleled managed coach network heralded as the industry gold standard for excellence. In addition, Sounding Board just released a definitive industry research report on leadership coaching for 2021 that is quickly becoming a roadmap for enterprise HR leaders.

“New labor models and the intense need to develop leadership pipelines are fueling the investment in Sounding Board’s technology, which enables organizations to develop the most impactful leaders for today’s rapidly changing business environments,” said Christine Tao, co-founder and CEO of Sounding Board. “As a result, we have hired two innovative leaders to further solidify our company’s stature as the most comprehensive and personalized platform to coach leaders for business impact.”

New hires Ron Buell and Niall MacGearailt join the existing leadership team featuring co-founders Christine Tao, CEO, Lori Mazan, President & Chief Coaching Officer, Piyush Gupta, Chief Product Officer and Tommy Perkins, Vice President, Sales.

Ron Buell, an accomplished software professional with extensive experience in leadership, software engineering, project management, and product management, has led the development of highly scalable systems and applications across a variety of technologies for companies including OpenFeint (acquired by GREE), Rdio (acquired by Pandora), Lyris Technologies, and Lotus/IBM Software Group. In his new role at Sounding Board, Buell will be responsible for all engineering efforts in developing, deploying, and maintaining the enterprise software platform and team for the company.

Niall MacGearailt will lead Sounding Board’s finance division, having earned a solid track record of improving P&L and operational expense management for leading companies such as Whirlpool, Logitech, Avaya and most recently Soraa, where he prepared the business for acquisition by leading hi-tech lighting company, Ecosense. In his new role, he will be responsible for building and leading the finance & relevant operations functions for the company.

Lori Mazan, co-founder, President and Chief Coaching Officer of Sounding Board, concluded, “Even before the pandemic, interest in leadership development was on the rise. What we were able to quickly do during Covid-19 was show enterprise companies the impact that coaching can have on employees at all levels of an organization. Through our managed network of highly engaged leadership coaches providing a personalized coaching experience, our customers knew they could count on us to support and focus their employees on business outcomes, ROI, and moving the needle as they fulfilled their organizational goals.”

About Sounding Board

Sounding Board disrupted a decades-long and staid coaching business model that was costly and reserved to senior executives.  With the goal of democratizing access to coaching globally, Sounding Board was one of the first to market with a virtual 1:1 coaching program that achieved the economics necessary to expand access to leadership coaching throughout an organization with a specific focus on sustainable leadership capabilities that tie directly to business impact.  Sounding Board’s best-in-class coach network covers over 60 countries and 15+ languages around the globe. In 2021, Sounding Board was named one of 2021’s Most Transformational Growth Companies in Digital Learning and a GOLD GLOBEE® WINNER for Career and Workforce Readiness Solution. For more information, please contact press@soundingboardinc.com.

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Piyush Gupta

VP of Product and Technology
Piyush Gupta is VP of Product and Technology at Sounding Board and champions the voice of customers and users with deep empathy. Piyush envisions Sounding Board to be the first window of coaching experience for professionals and leaders worldwide. His approach is deeply rooted in proven scientific research, modeling human behaviors, and data-informed insights to deliver mindset shifts and desired business outcomes for organizations at scale. He believes that a world-class UX is key to drive simplicity that will lead to millions of professionals to access coaching for their development. Piyush co-invented the world’s first ‘landmark intelligent driving directions’ technology that led Google to redesign their routing algorithms for the Asian markets. For the next decade, he led two disruptive FinTech companies to the market leadership positions and delivered two award-winning products that serve more than 70 million users worldwide. His teams filed 20+ patents while he himself authored three patents. He is an active startup investor and advises selected AI-driven startups on business and product strategy. He is the recipient of the World Summit Award, one of the most prestigious international honors for product innovators. In addition, he is a James Swartz fellow, the most prestigious fellowship at Carnegie Mellon University funded by the founder of the iconic venture firm, Accel Partners. Piyush holds an MS in Software Management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Tommy Perkins

SVP OF SALES, PARTNERSHIP & CUSTOMER SUCCESS

Tommy is at his best helping clients think through complex challenges in order to create a positive impact on their organizations. He thrives when interacting with others whether helping his team succeed or working with clients to build long-term partnerships. He has extensive experience consulting with organizations on driving their employee experience, guiding organizations through change, and working to ensure organizations are moving the needle when it comes to their results.

Most recently, Tommy was a Client Services Leader overseeing some of GP’s most prized accounts on a global level. His responsibilities included overall client growth strategy, retention, and satisfaction. He represented all of GP Strategies’ major business lines including leadership, coaching, and engagement, digital transformation, outsourced services, and technology implementation solutions.

Before GP Strategies, Tommy spent several years with TTEC Digital (formerly rogenSI) where he led the sales team,  eventually becoming the regional Learning & Performance practice leader for North America. While managing the P&L and sales team he also led the largest global relationship for the firm (Deloitte Globally). During his time at TTEC, he focused on delivering blended learning solutions that incorporate technology and hands-on training. Before TTEC Digital, he spent several years dedicated to strength-based leadership disrupting the business landscape regarding performance management and employee engagement with thought leader Marcus Buckingham at The Marcus Buckingham Company / TMBC (now ADP).

Tommy has had the privilege of working with some of the most well-known global brands in professional services, retail, technology, and healthcare including Deloitte, Facebook, Microsoft, Bank of America, Novartis, Gap Inc., lululemon, and Intel. Several projects he led for Deloitte were Global GNPS, New Partner Pivot, NextGen Partner Program Deloitte China, Present to Win, the RPM project on performance management, and Unconscious Bias.

Tommy holds a BS in Health Sciences from Texas A&M University, and an MBA from Universidad del CEMA.

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Lori Mazan

Co-Founder & CCO Sounding Board, Inc.
Lori Mazan is the Co-Founder and Chief Coaching Officer of Sounding Board, the preeminent global leadership development enterprise platform changing the face of leadership development through innovative technology for leaders at all levels of an organization. Lori is a seasoned executive coach who has guided hundreds of corporate executives through 1:1 coaching focused on business outcomes and developing critical leadership skills. Client companies advanced by Lori’s expertise include Fortune titans such as Chevron and Sprint as well as high growth and public companies like Intellikine, and Tapjoy, plus 10XGenomics, which became a public company in 2019 while top executives worked with Lori and the Sounding Board team.
Lori has spent the last 25 years coaching C-Suite executives to leadership excellence. Many of those public and private company CEO’s expressed that they would have liked this caliber of coaching earlier in their careers. Inspired by these experiences, Lori joined with Christine to launch Sounding Board as a feedback-driven, cloud-based leadership coaching platform that could maintain best-in-class leadership coaching while lowering costs to make it affordable and scalable for leaders at every level of their careers.
Before founding Sounding Board, Lori received her Masters’ in Adult Educational Psychology/Counseling from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelors’ in Psychology from the University of Virginia. Lori is an educator and has spent over 10 years as a professor of social psychology and group dynamics while acting as the interim Dean of Students at Holy Names University, She is certified by the industry’s gold standard, the Coaches Training Institute, and is a founding member of the Genentech Preferred Network of Coaches. Sounding Board is one of <3% of sole female founded startups receiving venture funding. In 2019 Sounding Board was selected as 1 of 7 startups (out of 100+ applicants) as part of SAP’s HR tech cohort, a group that represents the rising stars of the next-gen HR ecosystem.

Christine Tao

Co-Founder & CEO Sounding Board, Inc.
Christine Tao is the co-founder & CEO at Sounding Board, a Silicon Valley startup redefining how organizations are developing their leaders. Her extraordinarily rapid career growth to executive management in the media, mobile and tech sectors of Silicon Valley became her inspiration for founding Sounding Board. As she began to manage larger teams and be responsible for growing revenues, it became clear that she needed a “sounding board” to coach her on the development of her leadership skills. That’s where her Sounding Board co-founder, Lori Mazan came on the scene. A seasoned executive coach focused on leadership development, Lori coached Christine on real-world leadership skills that had a direct impact on business outcomes. Based on her positive and impactful experience with leadership development, Christine was driven to make leadership development coaching accessible to people at all levels of the organization.
Christine advises several startups, is a budding angel investor and is also a Tory Burch Foundation Fellow, a foundation dedicated to investing in the success and sustainability of women entrepreneurs.
Prior to co-founding Sounding Board, Christine was a Senior Vice President of Developer Relations at Tapjoy, a venture-backed, leading mobile advertising & publishing network. She led the growth of Tapjoy’s publisher advertising business from 0 to over $100 million in revenues in less than 3 years. Prior to that she led e-commerce partnerships and strategy at YouTube. Christine holds an MBA in Marketing & Operations from Wharton and a BA in Business Administration from UC Berkeley.

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