Doug consistently excels, in hot or cold employment markets, at identifying and landing high-performance VP and C-staff talent for startups. He’s done it for our portfolio multiple times, winning against far more heavily funded ‘shiny object’ startups, selling substance versus surface to candidates with lots of distracting choices. For a firm like DCVC that invests in hard tech versus fluff, we need that kind of skill from someone like Doug on our side.
The highest recommendation I can make for Doug is that I seriously thought about not writing this, as the thought of other people having access to our secret weapon makes me kind of annoyed. That’s only very faintly a joke.
Data Collective (DCVC) is a venture fund with a unique team of experienced venture capitalists, technology entrepreneurs and practicing engineers, investing together in seed and early stage Big Data and IT infrastructure companies.
Finding the right marketing leader was Alation’s single most difficult hire. We tried every conceivable method to source the right candidate from contingent firms to combing through our networks.
We described what we needed to Doug, and he matched us with our eventual VP, Marketing on the second resume. He was not only instrumental in sourcing the candidate, but also in crafting a win-win for both parties. If you have a tough executive search, Doug is the first person I’d recommend.
Alation centralizes knowledge about your company’s data and how to use it, unlocking the unrealized insights in your data systems and most experienced employees. By combining collaborative analytics, proprietary data search and discovery algorithms, and effective data governance tools, Alation acts as a GPS in the world of enterprise data.
Funding VCs: Andreessen Horowitz, Bloomberg BETA, Costanoa Venture Capital, Data Collective Venture Capital, General Catalyst Partners.
Doug has at his finger tips the best talent in the industry. Whereas most firms simply mine for contacts and try to hire good candidates, Doug knows many of the right people already, and moreover they trust him as an advisor on their own career growth. Doug uniquely offers value on both sides of the line. To the candidates that he sources he brings integrity, honesty and an uncanny perception as to how best to match them with opportunities; to his corporate clients, Doug brings a wealth of experience in matching personalities and talent to the appropriate development stage of the company and the team in place. I’ve been lucky enough to work with Doug at all three of my startups. I can’t think of anyone I’d trust more to help me build a company.
Bromium delivers the benefits of micro-virtualization and hardware based security to enterprise desktops, reducing the enterprise attack surface for all users without the need for new management tools or skillsets.
Funding VCs: Andreessen Horowitz, Highland Capital Partners, Ignition Partners, Intel Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Meritech Capital Partners, Silver Lake Waterman.
The concept of moving fast is heightened in the start up environment. When you finally decide to resources to your organization, you want to be able to execute at break-neck speed. At the same time, these are precious resources, so you can’t afford to make too many mistakes.
What I’ve appreciated in working with Doug is his ability to find high quality individuals, who, in many cases, meet a specialized criteria with skills that are not common or are not found in specific combinations — and do it at a phenomenal speed. He has exceptional insights on quickly assessing a person’s potential fit and works with me to transition from interview to offer, through the on-boarding process.
The Jolata platform is a big data solution providing real-time and precise network intelligence, by aggregating, analyzing and visualizing millisecond-precision performance statistics for any flow and anywhere on the network.
A friend of mine who is the founder & CEO of a security start-up recommended that I reach out to Doug when my company was ready to hire a VP of Sales & BD for North America. He said Doug had successfully recruited a couple of impact executives for his company, and that Doug had a great network of security executives in the US.
I found Doug to be a highly trusted partner, and I was amazed at the speed and efficiency with which he dove into my needs and delivered highly talented, domain-aware candidates who knew the nuances of the OT cyber security vertical. This guy really knows how to connect the dots and find really talented people, and he is an aggressive and talented closer.
CyberX’s XSense is a unique product designed specifically for critical OT networks. It mitigates cyber security risks by applying deep inspection analysis and unique anomaly detection. Their technology enables companies to continue with their operations, knowing that their critical networks are secure.
Funding VCs: Glilot Capital Partners, Glenrock Israel, Swarth Group, UpWest Labs.
One of our early investors, Matt Ocko, from Data Collective Venture Capital (DCVC), had mentioned to me that he had worked with Doug successfully in the past with other portfolio investments of his. When I was ready to hire a VP of Sales, Doug stepped in and quickly and effectively delivered a small and proven group of endpoint security sales executives to us, and we hired a world-class executive within six weeks of the search initiation date.
When we needed a marketing executive, I reached out to Doug again, and within six weeks we had hired the VP of Marketing away from one of the most successful security companies in the world. Doug has a very broad reach into the security domain, and his instincts about people and their motivation are highly tuned. I highly recommend Doug as a search partner.
SentinelOne is reinventing endpoint security to protect organizations against advanced threats and nation state malware. The company uses predictive execution inspection to detect and protect all devices against targeted zero day threats in real time. SentinelOne was formed by an elite team of cyber security and defense experts from Intel, McAfee, Checkpoint, IBM and the Israel Defense Forces.
Funding VCs: Accel, Data Collective Venture Capital, Granite Hill Capital Partners, SineWave Ventures, The Westly Group, Third Point Ventures, Tiger Global Management, UpWest Labs.
Recently I had the pleasure of working with Doug Griffith on our search at DB Networks for a VP of Product Management. While Doug is an expert in the field of marketing/product management, he also has access to the best and brightest from all technical disciplines within the Silicon Valley start-up community. He is able to provide exceptional value and insight to both his clients and his candidate network.
Doug’s unique talent lies in his ability to match an individual with the unique requirements of his clients – blending the right technical DNA and domain experience with the appropriate cultural fit issues.
He also has a key individual contributor search group that found us a principal platform engineer, so his search methodology is scalable and multi-dimensional, and provides us with a much richer set of search tools than most retained search firms.
DB Networks has developed a very disruptive Adaptive Database Firewall (core IDS) appliance that applies some proprietary behavioral modeling algorithms to detect/prevent SQL injection and DoS attacks targeting the databases of financial institutions, government agencies, and other data intense enterprises.
Funding VCs: Koshla Ventures, Grotech Ventures, Citi Ventures.
We were looking to fill a critical VP of Sales role at Rescale in a short timeframe. Doug was able to source a great list of candidates meeting specific domain and work experience requirements we had within a week, and then helped us quickly narrow it down to top potential candidates. Efficient and effective - I would definitely recommend Doug as a partner for your next search.
Rescale offers a software platform and hardware infrastructure for companies to perform scientific and engineering simulation. Rescale’s mission is to provide a highly powerful simulation platform that empowers the world’s engineers and scientists to develop the most innovative products and perform groundbreaking research and development.
Investors & Funding VCs: Data Collective Venture Capital, Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Ron Conway, Chris Dixon, Sam Altman, Peter Thiel.
I've had the pleasure to work with Doug on both a CEO and VP of Engineering search for one of my portfolio investments, Spoken Communications. He blew me away with the quality and breadth of candidates that he sourced, particularly since he doesn't live in the Seattle area.
In addition, he quickly narrowed the candidate lists down and provided good counsel and helpful backchannel through the offer process. I look forward to working with Doug many times in the future.
Ignition is a venture capital firm dedicated to helping the best entrepreneurs seize opportunity. With over $2B under management, Ignition invests in emerging and future leaders in communications, internet, software, and services across business and consumer targets.
I have worked with Doug and his team for almost 17 years. When I was a GM at 3Com in the early ’90s, it didn’t make any difference what discipline we needed to recruit – engineering, marketing, business development or customer service. Doug’s team was able to find us key executives that fit the domain, management experience and teamwork requirements that helped make 3Com a dominant networking power in the ’90s.
At Woven Systems I used Doug and his team to build a both the “C” management level and the middle management level – a unique range of recruiting competence/flexibility that very few retained firms offer. Management Architects recruited our VP of Sales and our VP of Marketing directly from our core competitors, as well as our Senior Director of Product Management and our Directors of Platform Architecture and L2 Architecture.
Doug is invested in his client’s success, and he sells his client’s attributes and potential to the candidate pool as if he were a seed investor. I could not recommend Doug and his team more highly.
Founded in 2006 as one of the pioneers of the new venture industry, XSeed Capital works with entrepreneurs to build differentiated technology startups that dramatically change markets. We are serial entrepreneurs who appreciate the dedication, passion, anxiety and sleepless nights it takes to build something valuable from scratch.
Doug is more than a talented recruiter, he is a valuable partner. Doug has earned repeat business from me and I¹d recommend him to anyone looking to fill a critical role. I engaged him despite the fact he had limited “Clean Tech” experience at the time. It turned out to be a brilliant decision.
Doug helped at every step and produced a number of high quality candidates quickly. Moreover, he took the time to understand our needs, our company and our culture. As a result most of the candidates he produced were not only qualified, they were a good fit with our existing team. The candidate we selected has been a game changer. If you want a shot gun approach and the most candidates possible there may be other recruiters for you. But if you want the best talent and best fit possible, you can¹t go wrong with Doug.
MIOX® Corporation has been manufacturing reliable and cost-effective on site generators for water disinfection for over 20 years. MIOX water treatment technologies combine salt, water and power to generator cost-effective water disinfection chemistries on site, on demand.
Funding VCs: DCM, Sierra Ventures, Flywheel Ventures.
Doug has a deep intuition and sharp eye for A-grade talent. Given that most executive search prospects have experience at successful companies, separating the jockey from horse can often be a black box exercise. I find that Doug is extraordinarily good at finding and getting the difference makers within these winning teams.
Ignition is a venture capital firm dedicated to helping the best entrepreneurs seize opportunity. With over $2B under management, Ignition invests in emerging and future leaders in communications, internet, software, and services across business and consumer targets.
I have worked with Doug for many years as both an individual he recruited to new opportunities and as a customer of his recruitment services. Doug has developed a skill and ability for identifying and delivering excellence in candidates for key roles within organizations.
Doug recruited our VP of Engineering, VP of Sales, VP of Business Development, and our VP of Marketing. ReliOn has used Doug extensively as a key executive staffing partner, and I would highly recommend his services to both start-up and established companies alike.
ReliOn was a world leader in the development and marketing of modular, cartridge-based, proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology. ReliOn was acquired by Plug Power in 2014.
Funding VCs: Enterprise Partners Venture Capital, Oak Investment Partners, Chrysalix Energy LP, Wall Street Technology Partners, Buerk Dale Victor, LLC Avista Corp.
Doug is the consummate search professional. Diligent, well connected, and intelligent enough to quickly grasp the nuances of a technology business. At Foundation Capital, I worked with Doug over a period of six years to help us find key talent in engineering, sales, and C-level leadership for early stage startups.
He’s consistently over-delivered uniquely qualified people for challenging roles. Most importantly, he stands behind his work, and will make sure that the fit continues to work for all concerned well after the search has been completed.
Silver Lake Kraftwerk focuses on providing growth capital to technology innovators with established business models in the energy and resource sectors. Silver Lake Kraftwerk targets companies globally that leverage technology and business model innovation to improve energy efficiency, reduce waste and emissions, harness renewable energy, and more efficiently use natural resources, among other applications.
Doug is a great executive recruiter who I’ve called on multiple times to help me find great people. Doug has the capacity to fully understand the needs of the business, the dynamics of the executive team, and the full awareness of all the personal factors involved in recruiting the best people. I highly recommend working with Doug and look forward to working with him in the future to build out my leadership teams.
Swim is a scalable application platform for building and distributing real-time services. Swim handles high volumes of real-time data with millisecond latency. It was designed to support modern applications and simplify how developers architect real-time systems. Swim apps are responsive, meaning they are both scalable and resilient.
Doug has consistently put top-notch executive talent on the playing field since my days at Stratacom in the 1980s. He is one of the best in the industry. Management Architects is one of the only retained firms in the Bay Area that has the resources to recruit key individual contributors and middle management as well as “C” level executives. This advantage provides our portfolio companies with a highly scalable and integrated search methodology.
Storm Ventures is a leading Silicon Valley venture capital firm focused solely on early-stage enterprise investments. Storm’s founders are all proven operational executives from the start-up world, and they believe that being active investors is the best way for them to generate superior returns. Their limited partners include many prominent financial institutions, as well as over 100 senior executives who have had successful careers in technology companies including Ciena, Cisco, Intel, JDS Uniphase and Juniper Networks.
Doug is simply one of the very best recruiting resources that we have partnered with at Playnomics. He truly operates like a member of the team, laser focused on finding us quality candidates who will make a lasting impact on the business. One important factor in working with Doug was his willingness to always do the heavy lifting before we ever spoke to a candidate. He spent the time getting to know our team and understanding what profile of candidate would most seamlessly fit.
From a technical and just as important cultural perspective, we knew that any candidate Doug recommended had been thoroughly vetted according to our specific needs and requirements. It is rare to find a recruiting partner that is so well aligned with the long-term success of our company.
Playnomics developed a predictive data and marketing platform for free-to-play games and apps, empowering marketers and developers to quickly predict player value and behavior, and immediately act on those insights with customized messaging. They became a global leader in quantifying play behavior, and the company was acquired by Unity Technologies in 2014.
Funding VCs: FirstMark Capital, Accelerator Ventures, TriplePoint Capital, Metamorphic Ventures, XSeed Capital.
I have worked with Doug for nearly 20 years as an entrepreneur and an investor. His search methodology and intuition have proven to me time and again that he knows how to source and find that rare blend of specific domain knowledge, intellectual curiosity, and passion that distinguishes a successful startup executive. The very length of our association is the best evidence of the high quality of his work.
The SwitchCase Group is a partnership between a principal private investor and a small group of skilled technology entrepreneurs. The mission is to create and support a portfolio of technology ventures around a specific business model designed for success in the 21st century.
I’ve worked with Doug for over a decade, and his passion for, and complete personal dedication to recruiting the best talent, is what sets him apart. It’s not hard to quantify what Doug and his search resources have meant to this company. His key placements in engineering, sales, and product management have been a large part of our success, and they have contributed significantly to the leadership role we continue to pave in Layer 2.5 Aggregation and Interworking solutions for carriers. He has been far more than just a recruiting resource for Hammerhead. Doug’s commitment to his startup clients goes far beyond simply recruiting and closing key executives. His investment in Hammerhead as a strategic staffing partner and evangelist has been, and will be, invaluable to our continued success. Doug has also been extraordinarily helpful in assisting EnerAllies scale our early sales operations in the emerging energy management vertical.
EnerAllies provides an intelligent HVAC Management and Optimization System for multi-site businesses such as small box retailers and multi-unit restaurant operators. Our cloud-based solution improves our clients’ profitability by reducing energy and maintenance costs quickly and easily.
I’ve known and worked with Doug for over a decade, both as a CEO and as a venture capitalist, and he is one of the first calls I make when I need to find a key executive. This is a guy who knows how to read the strengths and weaknesses of a team; translate the search requirement into a compelling value proposition for the candidate universe; and is extremely creative and persuasive in the closing zone.
ATA Ventures offers seed and early-stage growth capital along with decades of proven operating experience to assist startups in their pursuit of building companies of tremendous value. With an emphasis on mobile and Internet-based innovations, ATA is attracted to Information Technology concepts capable of improving fundamental processes within large markets.
Doug employs a structured approach to recruiting, and knows how to surface and motivate A-caliber candidates quicker than any recruiter I¹ve ever worked with. That, together with great judgment about people and very high integrity makes him the go-to guy for any critical executive staff searches I initiate. It’s also rare to find a recruiter who is as passionate about selling his clients strategic vision as Doug is. After two decades of working with Doug, I find his skills keep improving.
Expresso Fitness / Interactive Fitness Holdings has integrated cutting-edge Virtual Reality programming and internet gaming software with cardio fitness equipment to create a truly interactive workout experience.
Funding VCs: Sierra Ventures, Enterprise Partners Venture Capital, Physic Ventures.
From the moment I was introduced to Doug by my friends at ATA Ventures, Doug was able to quickly frame the Sikka Software value proposition and expedite the search process for a couple of key VP of Sales searches for my company. We are a SaaS-based Practice Optimizer Company for multiple office-based medical practitioners, and the positions we engaged Doug to find for us were in niche markets requiring extensive targeted research.
Doug’s candidate flow was fast and on target, and I was very impressed with the way in which he articulately and passionately presented Sikka Software to the target audience. Doug has completed three successful search projects for us – is working on a fourth – and I look forward to a long relationship with Doug and his team as a key staffing partner.
Sikka Software provides a unique, cloud-based practice optimization platform for office-based healthcare providers in the Dental, Audiology and Veterinary verticals, and provides seamless integration to over 400 practice management software providers as well as to Quickbooks, PeachTree and Freshbooks.
Funding VCs: ATA Ventures, Sierra Ventures, OrbiMed.
Doug and his search team have helped staff a number of my portfolio investments at Sierra, and the feedback I’d give about Management Architects would echo that of the CEOs to whom I’ve referred him. Doug and his team make excellent search partners. They are very adept and thorough in the search planning phase; they have extremely good research tools and are very precise in isolating the top performers in each source company; and they optimize positive search results for my companies by delivering a small universe of extremely competent, motivated, and well screened candidates.
I especially recommend Management Architects for complicated, unusual or hard-to-find executive searches; in a world where most search firms are set up for “rote” hires, Doug’s special skill set and passion for diving into the details of each client’s particular market has delivered 100% of the time for us in several of the most difficult searches we’ve undertaken.
Since 1982, Sierra Ventures, a privately held venture capital firm, has helped entrepreneurs around the world start and grow over 200 successful technology companies. Sierra is investing out of its tenth fund and currently has more than $1.5 billion of capital under management, focusing on investments across all areas of the enterprise technology sector, including Cloud, Infrastructure, Enterprise Software, Mobile, Big Data and Semiconductors.
I engaged Doug to find us a President for our growing Japanese KK subsidiary. Doug was methodical and thorough in reaching out to many of the most successful retail executives leading the local Japanese operations for well known global brands. Doug delivered a number of qualified candidates who wanted the position. We closed a very successful search in less than 10 weeks from initiation.
ZoomSystems is the global leader in the automated retail channel. With more than one million transactions and 1,000 ZoomShops, this network offers the convenience of online shopping combined with the immediate gratification of traditional retail.
Funding VCs: Sierra Ventures, NeoCarta Ventures, Starfish Ventures, Goldman Sachs Investment Partners.
As a rule, I hate retained search firms and my experience over the last 25 years is that retained searchers are just throwing darts; and I¹ve worked with most of the leading firms. Frankly, I engaged Doug reluctantly, and then only after firing another retained firm that had failed to get traction with literally any candidate of interest.
Doug not only hit the ball out of the park, he is the reason we were able to get all of our target candidates to engage and he was a critical partner, working with me day and night throughout the end of year Holidays to get our candidate successfully closed. He has a process that works to identify the appropriate candidate universe, he can get even the most reluctant target to engage, and he knows how to work with you to get the candidate closed. Honestly, he’s a bright light in an otherwise dim industry.
Lewis Associates is a firm focused on working with high potential startups and emerging growth and large, sector leading companies on strategy, corporate/business development, marketing positioning and other pivotal strategic issues, as well as fund raising and M&A positioning.
I have worked with Doug for over 5 years across a couple of companies. He has a very unique way of going about executive search to find the right person for a company. Most people start with a list of people they have in their database. Doug starts with a list of people currently employed at companies from which it would make sense to hire, and then helps get the right person. He is very knowledgeable in the software space and well respected. In addition to helping place people, he provides excellent feedback on where the business is, and what one can expect to get.
BlueStacks is pioneering the next generation of cloud technology for the mobile ecosystem. BlueStacks App Player enables the universe of Android games and apps to run fast and full screen on Windows PCs. App Player is powered by BlueStacks’ patented LayerCake virtualization technology and has 109 million users.
There is a difference between an executive recruiter who “dines and dashes”, and one who invests himself as a true search partner. Doug is a true partner in helping venture capitalists locate, motivate and close key “C” level executives. He is creative in his approach to sourcing – extraordinarily thorough in the reference checking process – and extremely compelling in the closing process. His passion for building successful executive teams is contagious.
Palomar Ventures was launched in 1999 by veteran venture capitalists to focus on early stage information technology companies that demonstrate the potential for exceptional growth and market leadership. Palomar Ventures is currently investing Palomar III, a $225 million fund, bringing total capital under management to over $500 million.
Being based in Australia meant that we had, in addition to the usual requirements, a very specific set of issues to be addressed in terms of geographical diversity. Despite this, Doug uncovered an excellent set of candidates who had both the in-depth domain knowledge we were looking for, and also was able to handle the added complexity of working with an Australian company. In addition, Doug's own flexibility meant that the potential difficulties of managing the process despite being 14 hours flight away never became an issue.
Engana developed a range of products for Reconfigurable Optical Add-Drop Multiplexers (ROADMs) based on Engana¹s Dynamic Wavelength Processor (DWP) platform. Optium acquired Engana in 2006.
Funding VCs: Technology Venture Partners, Starfish Ventures, DB Capital Partners, Intel Capital.
In Memoriam to Kathryn Gould
Early in my retained search career, I met Kathryn Gould for coffee in Palo Alto, CA. I had heard so many stories about her prowess in the venture world, and of her helping break the glass ceiling in the venture capital community.
When I found out that she had been a headhunter earlier in her career, I just had to meet her and pick her brain about the metrics she used to analyze and size up executive talent.
I hoped that she would give me 30-40 minutes of her time that day, and to my utter amazement, Kathryn spent over three hours with me – bought me lunch – and what I learned from her that day has helped shape me into the recruiter I have become today.
I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to help her recruit executives for a number of her portfolio investments at Foundation Capital, and to be able to call her for advice over the years whenever I found myself in a challenging situation with a start-up client, or difficult candidate.
I adored Kathryn, and I miss her brilliance, her irreverence for convention, and her dry wit. Her testimonial below is my most cherished:
I spent a few years in retained search before I embarked upon my career as a venture capitalist, so I have an intimate awareness of the challenges inherent in sourcing, screening, and closing A-tier executives in the Silicon Valley’s ultra competitive startup marketplace.
Rarely do you find a search person as thorough and strategic as Doug when it comes to framing and selling both the opportunity and the company, and one who develops such a sincere and honest rapport with candidates.
Doug really gets what it takes to make a startup happen, and knows how to target the right people. His work is, without a doubt, an important contributor to many startup successes in my portfolio.
Foundation Capital is a venture capital firm dedicated to the proposition that one entrepreneur’s idea, with the right support, can become a business that changes the world. Foundation Capital is currently invested in more than 60 high-growth ventures in the areas of consumer, information technology, software, digital energy, financial technology and marketing technology – and among the firm’s 26 IPOs include Lending Club, OnDeck, Chegg, Sunrun, MobileIron, Control4, TubeMogul, Envestnet, Financial Engines, Netflix, NetZero, Responses and Silver Spring Networks.
Doug and his team have performed a number of high-profile searches for my management teams during the over a period spanning 14 years. He has successfully recruited key executives and top performers at ADC-Kentrox, Copper Mountain Networks, Kineto Wireless and Westell Technologies during my tenure as CEO of those companies. Doug is well respected by technology people located throughout the country, and has always been able to complete our searches in a timely fashion with great results!
Westell Technologies, headquartered in Aurora, Illinois, is a global leader of intelligent site management, in-building wireless, cell site optimization, and outside plant solutions focused on wireless innovation at your network’s edge.
I met Doug when he was retained by Procera’s board to conduct their CEO search, and although I wasn’t looking at the time, Doug’s pitch to me was extremely compelling. He really takes the time to understand his client’s value proposition, and not just the product positioning and IP differentiation. He understood and could articulate to me what the various stakeholders in this search were looking for, and why.
He was inordinately transparent and objective as he addressed my concerns and questions, and he seemed to be much more focused on my career goals and ambitions than simply laser-focused on selling the deal to me like most retained guys. His candor and directness is what sets him apart. He was able to show me that this company was really undervalued and had enormous potential, and that all it lacked was an aggressive, sales-facing chief executive to unleash its potential.
This has been a great career move for me, and Procera’s IP and technical delivery team is every bit as exceptional as Doug portrayed it. We have taken the company stock value from low single digits to the mid-twenty dollar range in a few short years, and it all started with that cold call from Doug back in early 2008.
Procera Networks, Inc. delivers Intelligent Policy Enforcement (IPE) solutions, leveraging advanced Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology, designed to enable carriers, services providers and higher education institutions to improve the quality and lifetime of their networks, better monetize their infrastructure investments, control hazards, and create attractive services for their users by making qualified business decisions based on granular user and traffic intelligence.