Jess Lee (business)

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Lee in 2013

Jess Lee (born 1982) is an American venture capitalist. She is a partner at Sequoia Capital[1] and the former chief executive officer of Polyvore.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Jess Lee lived in Hong Kong until the age of 17, when she graduated from Hong Kong International School, then moved to California to pursue a bachelor's degree in computer science at Stanford University,[4] though she had initially been interested in attending art school.[5]


In 2004, Lee was recruited into Google's associate product manager (APM) program,[4][6] which had been founded and was then still led by Marissa Mayer.[7] Lee started work on Google's shopping engine Froogle[6] before becoming product manager of Google Maps.[4] There she worked with a team of five engineers to create My Maps, a project that allowed users to create maps of their own.[6]

She joined Polyvore as a product manager in 2008 after providing co-founder Pasha Sadri with feedback on issues with the website.[8] Lee initially wrote code for Polyvore but later started to handle social media, hiring, and finding new locations for the office.[4] Her role expanded to honorary co-founder in 2010 and she was promoted to CEO in 2012.[6] Lee then guided the company to cut down on features such as the "Ask" section and opened another office in New York City.[6]

In 2016, she joined Sequoia Capital as an investing partner,[9] becoming the venture capital firm's first female partner in the United States in 44 years of operation.[10] Hired at age 33, Lee became one of Sequoia's youngest partners.[11]

Personal life[edit]

She currently resides in Mountain View, California.[4]


  1. ^ Groth, Aimee (November 20, 2016). "Introverts can use vulnerability to become strong leaders". Quartz. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
  2. ^ Croffey, Amy (April 21, 2016). "Why Polyvore fashion CEO Jess Lee 'wears a uniform'". Sydney Morning Herald.
  3. ^ Tate, Ryan. "How One Startup Found Success by Making an Obsessive User Its CEO". WIRED. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
  4. ^ a b c d e Lien, Tracey (September 2, 2016). "How I Made It: Jess Lee's unlikely path to running Polyvore". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  5. ^ D'Onfro, Jillian (September 14, 2014). "How One Complaint-Filled Letter Landed This Ex-Googler At Her Dream Job". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
  6. ^ a b c d e Roberts, Daniel (2015-08-02). "How Polyvore CEO Jess Lee got started". Fortune. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  7. ^ "15 questions with Jess Lee". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2017-08-28.
  8. ^ Naughton, Julia (April 19, 2016). "Polyvore CEO Jess Lee Is Cracking The Code On Diversity In Fashion". Huffington Post Australia. Archived from the original on 2016-10-10. Retrieved 2016-10-04.
  9. ^ Loizos, Connie (20 October 2016). "Jess Lee of Polyvore joins Sequoia Capital as its 11th investing partner". TechCrunch. Retrieved 20 October 2016.
  10. ^ Benner, Katie (20 October 2016). "Sequoia Capital Hires First Female Investment Partner in U.S." The New York Times. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  11. ^ Hartmans, Avery (October 20, 2016). "One of Silicon Valley's oldest and most successful venture capital firms just hired its first female investing partner". Business Insider. Retrieved 21 October 2016.