Meditation app Headspace brings on former Netflixer Dolores Tersigni as chief people officer

Dolores Tersigni was hoping she would be taking a long-overdue vacation after leaving Netflix earlier this year instead, she was spending a lot of hour talking to the team over at meditation app Headspace.

Now shes landed a undertaking there as the chief people policeman, starting full-time the coming week. The dialogues actually led to a little bit of an involvement throughout the year, but now she will be working to craft the companys culture and help recruit new talent to the meditation app. Tersigni is the second big executive hire in the past month and a half or so, with the company bringing on a new chief business officer in June.

A bunch of people in my life were talking about Headspace, Tersigni told. People were just telling me to use the product because Im very much into mindfulness and yoga and meditation and had even begun trying to integrate it at Netflix. On another front, some people that I knew from a business perspective were really just interested in the business model. I had friends that knew some of the investors first or second hand and Headspace came up 4 or 5 times in 2 weeks. I maintained supposing, I wonder why this company keeps coming up, and that resulted me to believe more about what the company culture would be like.

Tersigni was previously the VP of Talent at Netflix, where she spent four years working on building up a team on the content side. Now, Netflixs original content endeavours have explosion into a multi-billion dollar effort revving up Netflixs growth engine as it looks to expand internationally.

They havent truly had anyone in my role before, Tersigni said. Trying to define what does that entail, how do you bring the culture to life, how does everyone in the company speak the same language, thats going to be the great challenge. How do you recruit and retain talent against those values and behaviors.

The role comes with plenty of unique challenges many of which arent actually measurable. The role will be judged to its implementation of hiring and retention, but a lot of it will be touchy-feely( to borrow the phrase for a class at a business school) and ensuring that the team is able to grow while maintaining its culture. That entails sending out surveys, getting feedback and then trying to gauge whether or not people are actually enjoying their day at the company.

The latter of that is critical to its implementation of retaining talent. And it might be a little more difficult given that Headspace just went through a small round of layoffs .The company raised an additional $37 million earlier this year to fuel expansion. It may be in a better shape to continue to attract new talent and hold onto its existing employees. But for a meditation app, build that culture of mindfulnessthat the app is literally built around may be more of a challenge than expected.

We have a lot of employees and were insuring increased complexity in the business, Tersigni told. In any startup in the initial phases, its all hands on deck and everyone does everything. As you start to mature, it gets more complex, and you generate more functions, your roles are more and more defined. Youre less of a generalist and become more of functional specialists. At that phase, you have to start identified that does[ success] mean. Right now is the time in that organisation, people start asking what does my career progression look like here. Really creating a framework and road map, how theyre able to define success, thats gonna be my first 30 -6 0 days will be mapping that out so people have a better understanding.

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