Tina Sharkey

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Tina Sharkey
Tina sharkey (15548349201).jpg
Sharkey (2014)
New York, New York
Alma materUniversity of Pennsylvania
Years active1993 - Present
OrganizationAspen Institute
WE Charity
United Nations Foundation
Board member ofBrandless
Brit + Co
RelativesLisa Sharkey

Tina Sharkey (born 1964) is an American entrepreneur, advisor, and investor. The co-founder and co-chairman of the board of directors of Brandless,[1] an e-commerce site,[2] Sharkey is noted for "discovering ways to bring consumers and businesses together." [3] In addition to Brandless, she has been involved in developing several community-focused sites, including iVillage, which she co-founded, and BabyCenter, where she served as chair and global president.[4] She led multiple business units at AOL, including community programming, and started the digital internet division at Sesame Street.[5][6][7]

Early life and education[edit]

Sharkey was born in New York City. Her father and grandfather worked in the garment industry, as did her mother, Mona Sherman, who became the president of Perry Ellis America when Sharkey was in high school.[8][9] She attended the University of Pennsylvania, spending a semester at the University of Paris: Sorbonne, and earned a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations.[10]


HDTV, iVillage, Socialmedia.com[edit]

Sharkey began her career as part of the team that introduced HDTV to the US market and the media industry, and, as part of an HDTV task force, she lobbied Congress at the age of 22.[11] In 1995, she worked with Barry Diller[12] to create the format for QVC's short-lived sister network Q2,[13][14] Sharkey also co-founded iVillage in 1995, and served as its chief community architect and head of programming. It became the largest online destination for women,[15] and was sold to NBC Universal for $600 million in 2006.[16][17]

Sharkey registered the domain names socialmedia.com, socialmedia.net, and socialmedia.org in the late 1990s. She was one of the first people to use the term "social media".[18]

Sesame Workshop, AOL, Baby Center[edit]

In 1999, after creating the interactive and online brands for Sesame Workshop, Sharkey was recruited by America Online's vice chairman, Ted Leonsis, to join AOL as a senior media executive.[8] At AOL, she oversaw multiple business units and led community programming initiatives, including the development of "People Connection" and aol.com.[19] She remained at AOL until 2006, when she was appointed chairman and global president of BabyCenter LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson.

At BabyCenter, Sharkey built a site for parenting and pregnancy that served more than 100 million visitors in 22 worldwide markets.[20] She led Johnson & Johnson's initiative with the U.S. State Department for the Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA).[21][22] Announced by US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and developed with the cooperation of the White House, MAMA served women in low-resource settings from South Africa to Bangladesh and India. New and expectant mothers register their due date or their baby’s age via mobile phone in order to receive text messages which provide relevant developmental, health, and nutritional information.[23]

Sherpa Foundry, Sherpa Ventures, Brandless[edit]

In 2013, Sharkey was appointed CEO of Sherpa Foundry.[24] Founded by Shervin Pishevar and Scott Stanford, Sherpa Foundry partners with public companies to identify, define and co-develop ideas and innovations through external resources.[25]

In 2014, Sharkey met Ido Leffler, the co-founder of Yes To, Inc. and Yoobi, among other companies, and in 2017, they launched Brandless, an e-commerce site described by Fortune as "the next Procter and Gamble for millennials." Sharkey serves as the company's CEO.[5]

Investments and advisory roles[edit]

Sharkey additionally serves on public and private boards and advisory committees, and consults to a range of businesses from early to late stage and global public enterprises. She writes a column on consumer insight marketing for Forbes.com and blogs at Medium [26][27] and the Huffington Post.[28] She speaks at conferences and events, and serves as a guest lecturer and mentor at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.[29]

Sharkey is an active investor in early stage media and technology companies[30] and was included on Business Insider's list of the Top 50 angel and investors.[31]

She is a 2006 Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and a founding and lifetime board member of Baby Buggy, a nonprofit organization which provides essential services to families in need.[32] She lives with her family in Mill Valley, California.


  1. ^ Sharkey, Tina (2019-03-14). "MORE GOODNESS". Medium. Retrieved 2019-06-14.
  2. ^ Feldman, Amy (July 11, 2017). "Brandless Hopes To Shake Up Consumer Products With Direct-To-Consumer Basics For $3". Forbes. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  3. ^ Stange, Mary Zeiss; et al. (February 23, 2011). The Multimedia Encyclopedia of Women in Today's World. Sage Publications. ISBN 1412976855. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
  4. ^ Benton, Emilia (March 25, 2010). "The Entrepreneurs: Most Influential Women In Technology". Fast Company. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  5. ^ a b Rao, Leena (December 7, 2016). "Exclusive: Investors Bet on Brandless as the Next Procter and Gamble for Millennials". Fortune. Retrieved 12 December 2016.
  6. ^ Slattala, Michelle (April 22, 1999). "Sesame Street Site: Serious Child's Play". New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  7. ^ Klaason, Abbey (June 1, 2009). "Tina Sharkey: Women To Watch 2990". Advertising Age. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  8. ^ a b Murphy, Cait (July 24, 2009). "The Web's Supermom". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  9. ^ Robinson Pamela, and Nadine Schiff (2001). If I Don't Do It Now. New York: Pocket Books. p. 184.
  10. ^ "Tina Sharkey, Executive Profile". Business Week. April 16, 2013. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  11. ^ Horn, Jordana (September 2011). "It's A Mom, Mom, Mom, Mom Online World". Penn Gazette. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  12. ^ Swisher, Kara (October 8, 2007). "Kara Visits Baby Center and Head Baby, Tina Sharkey". All Things D. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  13. ^ Fabrikant, Geraldine (April 21, 1994). "Market Place; QVC Hopes a New Channel Will Make it the Gap of TV Shopping". New York Times. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  14. ^ "Tina Sharkey Profile". National Center for Women And Technology. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  15. ^ Benton, Emilia (March 25, 2010). "Women in Tech 2010". Fast Company. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  16. ^ Carpenter, Paul (1998). eBrands: Building an Internet Business at Breakneck Speed. Harvard Business Press. pp. 17–22.
  17. ^ Dealbook Staff (March 6, 2006). "Is NBC Stealing iVillage for $600 Million?". New York Times. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  18. ^ Bercovici, Jeff (December 9, 2010). "Who Coined "Social Media"?". Forbes. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  19. ^ Goad, Libe (May 12, 2005). "AOL Keynoter Talks Web 2.0". eWeek. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  20. ^ McHale, Wendy (February 2010). "Happy Valentine's Day, Baby". Madison Avenue Journal. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  21. ^ "Tina Sharkey Biography". iMedia.
  22. ^ "Motherhood Around The Globe". mama.org. Retrieved 16 April 2013.
  23. ^ Horn, Jordana (August 26, 2011). "Tina Sharkey Profile". Penn Gazette. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  24. ^ Swisher, Kara (October 22, 2013). "Longtime Online Exec Tina Sharkey Joins Sherpa Foundry as CEO". All Things D. Retrieved 6 November 2013.
  25. ^ Said, Carolyn (July 17, 2014). "Venture fund focuses on on-demand services". sfgate.com. SF Gate. Retrieved 20 July 2014.
  26. ^ "Contributor Profile". Forbes. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  27. ^ Lecinski, Jim (2011). Winning The Zero Moment of Truth. Google Books. p. 72.
  28. ^ "Contributor Profile". Huffington Post. Retrieved 25 April 2013.
  29. ^ "How To Harness Stories In Business" (PDF). Stanford Faculty. August 8, 2012. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  30. ^ Casserly, Meghan (June 26, 2013). "Investors Bet Big On Tech's It-Girl As Brit Morin Announces $6.3 Million Series A". Forbes. Retrieved 13 July 2013.
  31. ^ Shontell, Alyson and, Huspeni, Andrea (July 23, 2012). "The 50 Early Stage Investors in Silicon Valley You Need to Know". Business Insider. Retrieved 1 May 2013.
  32. ^ "Baby Buggy Board Members". Baby Buggy. Retrieved 16 April 2013.

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