Hopin hires previous Amazon exec who was as soon as Jeff Bezos’ shadow advisor

Wei Gao, a previous Amazon government, is signing up for U.K. virtual activities start off-up Hopin as its main operating officer.


LONDON — British virtual activities commence-up Hopin has hired previous Amazon executive Wei Gao, who as soon as served as a “shadow” advisor to Jeff Bezos.

Gao will turn out to be chief functioning officer at Hopin, which skilled breakneck growth all through the pandemic as a lot of big in-particular person activities have been cancelled.

Amazon announced the news of Gao’s departure very last 7 days. Through her 16-calendar year tenure, Gao held a selection of senior positions at the e-commerce big. She was most a short while ago Amazon’s vice president of grocery tech, product and provide chain.

From July 2018 to January 2020, Gao held the role of technical advisor to Bezos, Amazon’s billionaire founder and executive chairman. The job involves shadowing Bezos for a 12 months or two and studying all areas of the organization.

The title was at the time held by Andy Jassy, the former manager of Amazon’s cloud computing division who is now CEO of Amazon soon after having the reins from Bezos in July.

“As Hopin enters a new era of innovation, Wei Gao will be a significant addition to our staff and as a result of her remarkable management Wei will inspire innovation in the techniques we deliver folks collectively for significant link,” reported Hopin CEO and founder Johnny Boufarhat.

Gao will be part of Hopin on Sept. 27, main the firm’s functions. The purpose of COO is generally considered to be next in the chain of command at a corporation.

She joins at a important time for the London-headquartered agency, which faces the prospect of a likely slowdown in expansion as nations around the world ease their coronavirus restrictions.

Hopin allows corporations host gatherings of up to 100,000 people today fully digitally, with functions for virtual phase talks and one particular-to-1 networking. The corporation, which tends to make cash from software package subscriptions for its enterprise clients, is now seriously investing in onsite convention resources, obtaining celebration administration organization Boomset in June.

“There is an huge possibility for the firm’s multi-item system systems and I’m searching forward to delivering impact to prospects and audiences in new, immersive groups,” claimed Gao.

Hopin, which was started only two many years back, was lately valued at $7.75 billion soon after boosting $450 million in clean funding. The business has raised a full of $1 billion to day from the likes of Salesforce, Singapore’s GIC and Normal Catalyst.

The soaring valuation of the business enterprise has made Boufarhat Britain’s youngest self-manufactured billionaire, in accordance to the Sunday Times Wealthy Record. Boufarhat launched Hopin in 2019 right after falling ill with an autoimmune disease that prevented him from leaving the house.