Hootsuite certainly tapped into the local talent pool with the hire of its first C-Suite executive based out of its Atlanta office.
Natalia Williams is joining the team as Chief Product Officer, the Canadian-based social media management platform announced today.
Williams, a Georgia State University graduate, joined Hootsuite after a tenure at Mailchimp. She was in the CPO seat since early 2021 and was VP of Product and Product Management at the homegrown company since 2018.
“At Hootsuite, we help our 200 thousand customers successfully leverage social media to communicate and connect with their prospects and customers. As social media moves more deeply into commerce, our product and product strategies are adjusting to help our customers navigate to this new giant opportunity,” said Tom Keiser, CEO at Hootsuite, in a statement. “Natalia’s expertise in technology, ecomm, and retail as well as her leadership and product experiences make her the perfect product leader for Hootsuite’s future.”
Hootsuite is one of multiple international companies to add additional office space or move HQs to Atlanta over the last year. Since opening its office in Midtown’s Tech Square Labs earlier this year, the team has grown to about 20 people.
As Williams joins as the latest hire, we asked her a few questions about her path to Hootsuite and why Atlanta is the right place for such a role. Here’s what she had to say:
Q: Tell us a little bit about your journey to building a career in Product. What drew you to Product Management originally?
Williams: I started in Product because of a great mentor, Lee Scott. He saw my interest and my curiosity and enabled me to transition into Product Management from User Experience. I liked that Product Management was a challenge every day – that there was a problem to solve at all altitudes. I enjoyed conceptualizing product in partnership with design and engineering. I was energized by seeing the outcome of launching a product whether that was failure or success. It can be a really humbling experience to be a product manager and I welcome that.
Q: What drew you to the opportunity at Hootsuite? Why was this the right team at the right time to join?
Williams: Hootsuite has major brand equity – I used Hootsuite at a prior company and remember the ease of use and the delight in being able to get time back to do other aspects of my job. I wanted to be a part of the story of Hootsuite to make technology accessible to both enterprise and small business customers alike. I think there is so much opportunity for the product, especially given the changes happening with the economy — 4.4M small businesses were started in 2020 alone, a 24% increase from the previous year. Social is where many businesses start but how do you build a brand? How does a small business owner know what content is engaging? Hootsuite can help small businesses engage with their customers and learn insights about their followers across multiple social platforms in a way that reduces the lift and pressure of social media management.
Q: What does the Atlanta tech scene mean to you?
Williams: Atlanta is unique in its tech scene because Atlanta as a city has always felt like a community. I’ve been a part of the New York and San Francisco tech scene and I have not felt the camaraderie and togetherness of a shared experience in tech as much as I have in Atlanta. The opportunity for tech companies to open offices in Atlanta to access talent and learn from tech talent with a fresh perspective is huge. Fresh perspectives from a diverse set of people build better products. There are also transplants like myself who moved to Atlanta because of the culture and lifestyle — Atlanta is the best of both worlds with homegrown and transplanted talent.
Q: How big is the Hootsuite Atlanta team currently? Any hiring plans?
A: We are growing! We opened our office last month and have about 20 people out of the Atlanta office and we’re still hiring!