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.[1] The company, which has operations in more than 170 countries, is one of the world's largest telecommunications services companies.[2] In 2016 she joined the board of Worldpay, a London-based payment processing company that announced a $10 billion merger with U.S. credit card processor Vantiv in August 2017.[3][4]

Other boards on which Richardson serves include Exponent, a Silicon Valley-based engineering and scientific consulting company she joined in 2013,[5] and Ayasdi,[6] a Palo Alto company developing a machine learning and artificial intelligence platform to be used in financial services, health care, national security and other data-intensive industries.[7] Richardson was named among the "100 most influential women in tech" by a technology industry website in 2015.[8]

Richardson was a board member of VirtuOz[9] until January 2013, when the company was purchased by Nuance Communications;[10] she was on the advisory board of Proofpoint Inc., a provider of email security and compliance products[11] that went public in April 2012;[12] and was chairwoman of the board of directors of San Francisco-based Hi5 Networks Inc.[13] from 2008 until December 2011, when the company was purchased by social networker Tagged Inc.[14] Richardson has also sat on the boards of HackerRank,[15] a technology company that develops competitive programming challenges,[16] and i2, a Silver Lake-owned developer of investigative analysis software, until the company was sold to IBM in October 2011.[17] At the time of the announcement, i2 announced that 12 of the top 20 retail banks used the company's software.[18]

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.[19]

Additionally, Richardson serves on the board of the San Francisco Opera,[20] which she joined as part of a push by that institution to include more technology leaders.[21][22] She also serves on the advisory board of the Stanford Technology Ventures Program[23] at Stanford University.

Previously, Richardson served as chief executive of E.piphany, a developer of customer relationship management software. She also held several senior sales positions at Netscape Communications Corp. 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).

Personal life[edit]

Her grandfather was a farmer from Saskatchewan who graduated with a Ph.D. in chemistry from Stanford; her mother entered Stanford at 16 to study mathematics, and her father is also a Stanford alumnus.[24] She is married to Jon Rubinstein,[25] former co-CEO of investment firm Bridgewater Associates;[26] prior to that, Rubinstein had been executive chairman and CEO of Palm and former senior vice president of Apple Inc.'s iPod division.[27]


  1. ^ Technology guru joins BT as new director, 2011-10-19
  2. ^ "Our company". BT Group plc. Retrieved 2011-11-02.
  3. ^ "Directorate Change". Financial Times. Retrieved 2016-05-23.
  4. ^ "Vantiv and WorldPay just agreed terms for their $10 billion merger". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-09-04.
  5. ^ "Exponent (EXPO) Form 8-K, Sept. 11, 2013". Retrieved 2013-09-25.
  6. ^ "Leadership". Ayasdi. Retrieved 2015-02-18.
  7. ^ "The World's Top 10 Most Innovative Companies of 2015 in Big Data". Fast Company. Retrieved 2015-02-18.
  8. ^ Stojanovic, Peter (28 August 2015). "The 100 leading females shaping tech innovation". Hot Topics. Retrieved 1 September 2015.
  9. ^ VirtuOz press release, 2010-02-12
  10. ^ Confirmed: Nuance Has Bought Virtual Assistant Specialist VirtuOz To Ramp Up Its Enterprise Services, 2013-01-10
  11. ^ http://www.proofpoint.com/news-and-events/press-releases/pressdetail.php?PressReleaseID=56 Missing or empty |title= (help)
  12. ^ Roose, Kevin (April 20, 2012). "Proofpoint and Infoblox Rise on Debuts". The New York Times. Retrieved April 21, 2012.
  13. ^ Social Networking Site Hi5 Nearly Doubles Monthly Visitors, InformationWeek, August 15, 2008
  14. ^ Tagged Acquires Facebook Competitor Hi5, The Wall Street Journal, December 14, 2011
  15. ^ "Karen Richardson". LinkedIn. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  16. ^ "2015 Disruptor 50". CNBC. Retrieved 5 June 2015.
  17. ^ IBM Completes i2 Acquisition to Expand Big Data Analytics Portfolio for Smarter Cities, 2011-10-05
  18. ^ IBM Acquiring I2 for Criminal Mastermind Software, 2011-08-31
  19. ^ Meet Silver Lake: The Hot Private Equity Firm of the Moment, The Wall Street Journal, September 22, 2011
  20. ^ "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.
  21. ^ Farr, Christina. "The Opera goes to Silicon Valley, hopes that Silicon Valley will return the favor". VentureBeat. Retrieved 12 August 2013.
  22. ^ Zinko, Carolyne (2013-08-23). "Old money welcomes new (tech) blood to the arts". SFGate.com. Retrieved 2013-09-25.
  23. ^ "Stanford Technology Ventures Program Advisory Board Web site". Archived from the original on 2014-02-20.
  24. ^ "Karen Richardson: A Girl Among Geeks | Stanford eCorner". ecorner-legacy.stanford.edu. Retrieved 2018-06-28.
  25. ^ New tech to the arts
  26. ^ "Bridgewater Hires Ex-Apple Executive as Co-CEO". Wall Street Journal. March 10, 2016. Retrieved April 22, 2016.
  27. ^ Perry, Tekla (September 2008). "From Podfather to Palm's Pilot". IEEE Spectrum.