Adam played a critical role in driving growth and product innovation at LinkedIn and eBay, two of the most successful consumer Internet companies in Silicon Valley. Most recently, he has been Executive in Residence at Greylock Partners.
At Wealthfront, he will direct the product, engineering and marketing teams, focusing immediately on adding about 30% to the company’s staff. He will oversee the majority of Wealthfront’s employees.
“Adam brings an incredible set of skills to help make our client experience the most delightful in finance. His experience in mobile platforms and social networks and his deep understanding of design will help us better serve our clients,” said Andy Rachleff, Wealthfront CEO. “His passion for personal finance is a huge bonus.”
Adam was drawn to Wealthfront because of the company’s mission to democratize access to sophisticated financial advice.
“Rich people have always been able to hire expensive talent to manage their investments. Wealthfront has built incredible software to serve everyone with similar techniques at a much lower cost.
“Schwab and Vanguard helped make investing easier and less expensive for previous generations. Now it’s time for Silicon Valley to radically improve on that model.”
As Vice President of Product Management at LinkedIn, Adam led LinkedIn’s product efforts around search, cloud, platform and mobile products. He helped build and lead the user experience and design team at LinkedIn, and is a proven and ardent advocate for developing products and services that go beyond utility to delight customers.
He launched LinkedIn’s open developer platform, which grew to reach over 50,000 developers, and oversaw LinkedIn’s successful mobile efforts, which now reach almost a quarter of LinkedIn’s monthly traffic, up from less than 1% in 2009.
“We’re quickly entering a multi-device world, where consumers expect to access services arbitrarily from devices with appropriate design and seamless integration,” Adam says.
After leaving LinkedIn, Adam became an executive in residence at Greylock Partners. He has been writing and speaking to startups on strategies and techniques to drive user acquisition and growth, as well as evangelizing the benefits of product leadership.
“Adam’s a highly talented, experienced executive. I’ve hired him twice,” says Reid Hoffman, LinkedIn’s co-founder and a partner at Greylock Partners. “At LinkedIn, he launched Platform, Mobile, Growth and other key strategic initiatives that have become important groups and products for the company. At Greylock, he deployed his LinkedIn and eBay experiences with a number of our portfolio companies on their product strategies.
“In addition to hiring a great executive, Wealthfront will benefit from Adam’s in-depth knowledge and passion in personal finance and asset management — which he has blogged about excellently for years.”
Adam’s interest in finance began during his college years at Stanford. After he declared computer science as his major, he got a software internship at Hewlett-Packard, which paid $2,235 a month.
“Over the summer I made over $5,000, which seemed like an unbelievable amount to me,” he said. “I was previously making $6.25 an hour working at the Stanford Bookstore. I bought a computer, did some other things … and then I was shocked to find that by Thanksgiving the money was gone. It literally sickened me.”
That led him to a focus on basic budgeting, including setting aside money for saving and investing. After graduation, he formed an investing club with other engineers – many who have gone on to stellar Silicon Valley careers (members included Michael Schroepfer of Facebook, Amy Chang of Google Analytics, and Scott Kleper at Adobe.)
The club lasted for more than seven years, and, as Adam remembers it, the club’s returns beat the market. Those returns weren’t the purpose of the club, however. The members were interested in learning about the equity markets, particularly because they knew that so much of their compensation in the tech business would come in the form of equity.
Adam has long been frustrated by the fact that so few Americans have access to even basic education about investing.
“Everyone should have what Wealthfront offers: a diversified portfolio optimized for your individual risk tolerance,” he says. “This is not some radical idea. And yet, most people still don’t have access to it or understand why it’s important.”
Before joining eBay, Adam held strategic and technical roles at Atlas Venture, Preview Systems and Apple. He holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in computer science from Stanford, as well as an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Adam was born and raised in Silicon Valley, where he lives with his wife, four children and their beagle.