Serena Williams joins SurveyMonkey board alongside Sheryl Sandberg

Thursday May 25th, 2017

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Tennis superstar Serena Williams announced Wednesday that she has joined the SurveyMonkey board of directors.

Williams, who is one of the most successful athlete entrepreneurs with a signature clothing line offered through HSN and several major brand sponsorships, was named to the leading online survey platform’s board with Intuit CEO Brad Smith.

They’re replacing Hewlett Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman and Turbonomic Chairman Bill Veghte, who have stepped down but will continue to serve as advisors.

The addition of Williams and Smith follows Facebook Inc. Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg’s admission to the board in July 2015. Sandberg’s late husband, Dave Goldberg, served as SurveyMonkey CEO until he died unexpectedly on May 1, 2015.

Williams, who was named Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year in 2015 and has several world championship titles, is a close friend of Sandberg and helped her cope following Goldberg’s death, according to Sports Illustrated.

In a statement, SurveyMonkey CEO Zander Lurie said Williams’ voice on the board “sends a strong message to our company, investors and the industry.”

“We want change agents at our table,” he said. “We have a deep bench of innovative leaders, and our goals are clear. We’re playing to win.”

Williams, who has won the most Grand Slam singles titles in history and was pregnant when she won the title again at the 2017 Australian Open, said she was “thrilled” to join the team.

“As a business professional, I’m constantly asking questions. I want to hear the positive and the negative to figure out where I can improve,” Williams said in a statement. “Like SurveyMonkey, I’m driven to ask what’s happening, and why.”

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