Karen Richardson

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Karen Richardson is an American executive. Her 30-year career in the software business includes positions as a key player in several well-known and highly successful companies.


In November 2011, Richardson joined the board of directors of BT Group plc (NYSEBT).[1] The company, which has operations in more than 170 countries, is one of the world's largest telecommunications services companies.[2] She was appointed to the board of Exponent (NASDAQEXPO), a Silicon Valley-based engineering and scientific consulting company, in 2013.[3] In 2014, Richardson joined the boards of Ayasdi,[4] a Palo Alto-based software developer that helps organizations use topological data analysis to solve problems in life sciences, health care, financial services, and other fields,[5] and HackerRank,[6] which has developed a platform for technology companies to evaluate candidates' programming skills.[7] She joined the board of Worldpay (LSEWPG), a London-based payment processing company, in 2016.[8] Richardson was named among the "100 most influential women in tech" by a technology industry website in 2015.[9]

She has also served on several corporate boards. Richardson was a board member of VirtuOz[10] until January 2013, when the company was purchased by Nuance Communications (NASDAQNUAN);[11] she was on the advisory board of Proofpoint Inc.(NASDAQPFPT), a provider of email security and compliance products[12] that went public in April 2012;[13] and was chairwoman of the board of directors of San Francisco-based Hi5 Networks Inc.[14] from 2008 until December 2011, when the company was purchased by social networker Tagged Inc.[15] She also sat on the board of i2, a Silver Lake-owned developer of investigative analysis software, until the company was sold to IBM in October 2011.[16] At the time of the announcement, i2 announced that 12 of the top 20 retail banks used the company's software.[17]

Richardson is a former adviser to Silver Lake Partners, a private equity investment firm that built successful investments in Skype, Seagate Technology and Alibaba Group Holding Co. Ltd., a leading Chinese technology venture.[18]

Additionally, Richardson serves on the board of the San Francisco Opera,[19] which she joined as part of a push by that institution to include more technology leaders.[20][21] She also serves on the advisory board of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program[22] at Stanford University.

Previously, Richardson served as chief executive of E.piphany, a developer of customer relationship management software (former NASDAQ ticker symbol EPNY). She also held several senior sales positions at Netscape Communications Corp. (former NASDAQ ticker symbol NSCP) from 1995–1998, during which time Netscape's sales grew from $80 million to over $500 million annually. As executive vice president of sales at the browser pioneer, Richardson concentrated on key vertical markets such as telecommunications and financial services; she also helped the company develop new markets, including e-commerce, consumer Internet access and enterprise applications. Prior to her position at Netscape, Richardson was VP of Worldwide Sales at Collabra Software, Inc., and worked for four years with Lotus Development Corporation in a variety of sales and marketing roles as well as at cc:Mail and 3Com Corporation.

Richardson holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and award distinctions from the Stanford Industrial Engineering Department and the American Institute of Industrial Engineers (AIIE). She is married to Jon Rubinstein, who was named co-CEO of investment firm Bridgewater Associates in March 2016;[23] formerly, Rubinstein was senior vice president and general manager of Hewlett-Packard Company’s Palm Global Business Unit and former senior vice president of Apple Inc.'s iPod division.[24]

Personal life[edit]

Her grandfather was a farmer from Saskatchewan who graduated with a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Stanford; her mother entered Stanford at 16 to study mathematics, and her father is also a Stanford alumnus.[25] She is married to Jon Rubinstein.[26]


  1. ^ Technology guru joins BT as new director, 2011-10-19 
  2. ^ "Our company". BT Group plc. Retrieved 2011-11-02. 
  3. ^ "Exponent (EXPO) Form 8-K, Sept. 11, 2013". Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  4. ^ "Leadership". Ayasdi. Retrieved 2015-02-18. 
  5. ^ "The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in Big Data". Fast Company. Retrieved 2015-02-18. 
  6. ^ "Karen Richardson". LinkedIn. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "2015 Disruptor 50". CNBC. Retrieved 5 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Directorate Change". Financial Times. Retrieved 2016-05-23. 
  9. ^ Stojanovic, Peter (28 August 2015). "The 100 leading females shaping tech innovation". Hot Topics. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  10. ^ VirtuOz press release, 2010-02-12 
  11. ^ Confirmed: Nuance Has Bought Virtual Assistant Specialist VirtuOz To Ramp Up Its Enterprise Services, 2013-01-10 
  12. ^ http://www.proofpoint.com/news-and-events/press-releases/pressdetail.php?PressReleaseID=56  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ Roose, Kevin (April 20, 2012). "Proofpoint and Infoblox Rise on Debuts". The New York Times. Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
  14. ^ Social Networking Site Hi5 Nearly Doubles Monthly Visitors, InformationWeek, August 15, 2008 
  15. ^ Tagged Acquires Facebook Competitor Hi5, The Wall Street Journal, December 14, 2011 
  16. ^ IBM Completes i2 Acquisition to Expand Big Data Analytics Portfolio for Smarter Cities, 2011-10-05 
  17. ^ IBM Acquiring I2 for Criminal Mastermind Software, 2011-08-31 
  18. ^ Meet Silver Lake: The Hot Private Equity Firm of the Moment, The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2011 
  19. ^ "San Francisco Opera Association Announces New Board President-Elect Keith Geeslin; Election of New Directors from Technology, Corporate and Philanthropic Communities". San Francisco Opera. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  20. ^ Farr, Christina. "The Opera goes to Silicon Valley, hopes that Silicon Valley will return the favor". VentureBeat. Retrieved 12 August 2013. 
  21. ^ Zinko, Carolyne (2013-08-23). "Old money welcomes new (tech) blood to the arts". SFGate.com. Retrieved 2013-09-25. 
  22. ^ "Stanford Technology Ventures Program Advisory Board Web site". 
  23. ^ "Bridgewater Hires Ex-Apple Executive as Co-CEO". Wall Street Journal. March 10, 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2016. 
  24. ^ Perry, Tekla (September 2008). "From Podfather to Palm's Pilot". IEEE Spectrum. 
  25. ^ Educators Corner: Entrepreneurship Education Resources: A girl among geeks http://edcorner.stanford.edu/authorMaterialInfo.html?mid=1261&author=162
  26. ^ New tech to the arts