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Hiring a team for your startup should begin with a core team of three people and build from there. Read more about a strategy for building your team.
Frank H. Levinson founded Finisar in April 1987 and has served as a member of our Board of Directors since February 1988 and as our Chairman of the Board and Chief Technical Officer since August 1999. Mr. Levinson also
served as our Chief Executive Officer from February 1988 to August 1999. From September 1980 to December 1983, Mr. Levinson was a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories. From January 1984 to July 1984, he was a Member of
Technical Staff at Bellcore, a provider of services and products to the communications industry. From April 1985 to December 1985, Mr. Levinson was the principal optical scientist at Raychem Corporation, and from January 1986 to February
1988, he was Optical Department Manager at Raynet, Inc., a fiber optic systems company. Mr. Levinson holds a B.S. in Mathematics/Physics from Butler University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Astronomy from the University of
Robin Li is the Co-founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Baidu, Inc., and oversees the company's overall strategy and business operations. Since founding Baidu in January 2000, Li has turned the company into
the largest Chinese search engine, with over 70% market share, and the third largest independent search engine in the world. In 2005, Baidu completed its successful IPO on NASDAQ, and in 2007 it became the first Chinese company to be
included in the NASDAQ-100 Index. Prior to Baidu, Li was already regarded as one of the world's top search engine experts. His hyperlink analysis, patented in 1996, is among the inventions that shaped today's search engine technology. Li
worked as a staff engineer for Infoseek, a pioneer Internet search engine company, from July 1997 to December 1999, and as a senior consultant for IDD Information Services from May 1994 to June 1997. Robin Li received a Bachelor of Science
Degree in Information Management from Peking University in 1991, and a Master of Science Degree in Computer Science from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1994.
After realizing he needed a more rigorous hiring process in his fast-growing company, the entrepreneur author details his step-by-step interview process based on Topgrading hiring principles. This process enabled the author to recruit the best people possible for his company's top positions.
Fern Mandelbaum, is a Partner at Monitor Venture Partners. Ms. Mandelbaum is an entrepreneur and CEO who specializes in creating and growing technology focused businesses. Since 1998, Ms. Mandelbaum has worked with CEO's
helping them develop and refine their business concepts, recruit management teams, key advisors and board members, implement fund raising strategies and establish strategic alliances. Her portfolio includes: New Vine Logistics,
CaseCentral, Informative, NapaStyle, WetFeet, Care2, and LiveAdvice (merged with Keen). She has worked with, and secured funding for her companies from many of the leading venture capital firms, including: Mohr Davidow; ATV;
Kleiner-Perkins; Draper Fisher Jurvetson; ThomVest; and Carlyle Ventures. Between 1991 and 1998, Ms. Mandelbaum was co-founder and CEO of Skyline Products, one of the premier toy invention firms that was sold to IDEO Product Development,
the largest design firm in the U.S., in 1998. Skyline achieved annual growth in excess of 200%, becoming one of the top toy invention firms in the U.S. She was responsible for all marketing, business development, financial, legal, and
strategic planning aspects of the company, and licensed over 80 products to 50 companies during her tenure. Between 1988 and 1991, Ms. Mandelbaum was a General Manager at Metcal. She created and managed a division to develop and
commercialize foodservice equipment incorporating Metcal's proprietary heating technology. Prior to, and while, attending business school, Ms. Mandelbaum worked at Bain and Company, SRI International as a research analyst in the financial
industries center, Hewlett Packard, creating the used equipment vendor program, and the Kyoto Shinyo Kinko, managing the initial stages of a new product introduction. Ms. Mandelbaum received her M.B.A. from Stanford Graduate School of
Business in 1988 and her B.A. in Economics from Brown University in 19
Mike Maples, Jr. is the managing partner of Maples Investments, and is an entrepreneur in his own right. Before becoming a full-time investor, he worked in a variety of executive and management roles in high-growth
companies. His background spans a variety of markets including consumer technology, small business, and the enterprise, and he has served in various executive roles in product development, marketing, and corporate strategy. Mike began his
technology career in high school, when he started a software company that developed games and educational products for the original IBM PC. He has been passionate about the technology industry ever since. Most recently, Mike co-founded
Motive, Inc., the world's leading broadband software company in 1997 and played key roles in its growth from raw start-up through sales of $100 million. Motive was one of the only successful technology IPOs in 2004, and the most successful
infrastructure software IPO for the prior three years. At Motive, Mike was General Manager of Motive's Corporate Business Unit, as well as Chief Marketing and Strategy officer. Prior to Motive, Mike was responsible for worldwide product
marketing at Tivoli Systems, where he managed the company's product portfolio from its early-stage development through its 1995 IPO and growth to a $750M line of business within the IBM Software Group. Mike began his professional career at
Silicon Graphics, where he served in business development and product marketing roles. In his spare time Mike is an amateur artist, movie-maker, and calligrapher. He holds an Engineering degree from Stanford University, an MBA from Harvard
Business School, and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and a guest-lecturer on entrepreneurship at Harvard Business School, Stanford University, Princeton University, and the University of Texas.
This serial entrepreneur shares the story of how she came to understand the importance of recruiting experienced entrepreneurs to her board of directors. In one instance a new director advised her to hold off accepting an offer for her company, enabling the company to grow and gain value for potential sale later.
Mr. Martin joined Pacific Biosciences in 2004 as a seasoned executive with a 25-year track record managing leading edge technologies, new ventures, and high growth businesses. Previously, Mr. Martin was Chairman,
President and CEO of ONI Systems?a high-speed optical telecommunications company he founded in 1998 and took public in 2000. Named the Fastest Growing Company in Silicon Valley in 2001, ONI was sold to Ciena in 2002. After its sale, Mr.
Martin served as a consultant to Ciena, a CEO in residence at the venture capital firm of Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, and was a Director at Cloudshield Technologies. Prior to ONI, Mr. Martin was President and Director of 3DO?an
interactive gaming company. His earlier experience includes running desktop engineering for Apple Computer and founding Ridge Computers?designer of the world's first commercial reduced instruction set computing (RISC) minicomputer. Mr.
Martin received a BS in Electrical Engineering at Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey. Mr. Martin currently serves on the Board of Directors of Pacific Biosciences and Infinera.
While effectual boards of directors can strengthen a growing company, this author asserts ineffectual boards can just as easily cripple a company's growth. Entrepreneurs should follow proven and concrete procedures for developing and operating strong boards of directors.
When key leaders are ready to move on to new challenges or even retirement, their legacy can be greatly diminished without good succession planning.
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