In this episode, Kenning Partner Daryl Ogden speaks with Helen Chiang, head of Mojang Studios. Daryl and Helen’s relationship goes back many years, to the integration of Mojang, the Swedish creator of Minecraft, into the world of Microsoft’s Xbox. Despite the troubling reality of most acquisitions, they talk about how Helen and her team ensured continued growth and player satisfaction.
In this installment of our Women in Tech Series, Kenning Partner Cathy Boeckmann talks with Abby Kearns. Abby is a C-level business and technology executive who has held top roles at Puppet, Cloud Foundry Foundation, and Pivotal Software, to name just a few of the influential organizations she’s been a part of. She talks about how two roles – project manager and product manager – opened her eyes to the world of tech and inspired her strategic style as a leader. She shares her passion for enterprise infrastructure and for being a part of the open-source movement. Focused on the challenges of scale and complexity, Abby offers an inspiring take on how all of us, and women in particular, can look for ways to get more comfortable with risk.
On the eve of her announced retirement from Xbox Game Studios, longtime Microsoft veteran Shannon Loftis met with Kenning Partner Daryl Ogden to discuss her storied career. Shannon talks about the early days of gaming at Microsoft, and what it was like to be a woman in that hard-driving environment. She explains how Microsoft’s culture has changed in the intervening years, and how she has as well. A timely talk by Melinda French Gates provided some rules to live by for Shannon, guidelines she still shares with the women she supports today.
Kicking off our Women in Tech Series, Kenning Partner Cathy Boeckmann welcomes Katie Brown, Founder and Chief Education Officer of EnGen. Katie charts her course from academia, to EdTech startup, and now to a public benefit corporation. Katie describes the dire need for high quality English Language Learning for immigrants to the U.S. and explains how EnGen’s pedagogy, founded on real English language example, can aid in these learners achieving a level of proficiency in English that can help them gain employment with the potential for economic mobility. She goes on to note how the EnGen’s technology allows for a true “flipped classroom”, in which out-of-class individualized language activities can support in-class learning.