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Late last year, we put the call out for someone amazing to join Blackbird and help us be the best place to work in Australia & New Zealand. During the process, we realised the potential we could also unlock in our portfolio companies, and the startup ecosystem, if we found the right leader in this role.

Today, we’re proud to share that Justin Angsuwat is joining Blackbird as Chief People Officer.

Having relocated back to Australia from Silicon Valley, Justin will spearhead the search for amazing people, nurture our culture, develop our team and help Blackbirds to be their best selves.

Alongside making Blackbird a magnetic force for talent, we’re excited that Justin will advise our founder and operator community, scaling people and culture across Blackbird’s portfolio companies.

We first met Justin through his work at Thumbtack in San Francisco, where he oversaw the rapid growth of a global team, supercharging an inclusive community through values and culture, and building a People team of more than 90 FTEs. But ask Justin what he’s most proud of, and the numbers aren’t it. It’s the growth of the leaders he’s worked with, advised and coached - the founders and executives who have gone on to transform their own workplaces.

“It’s humbling to have played a part in their growth, and to see the force multiplier effect of that; their businesses perform better and people are happier” says Justin. “It’s a powerful reminder that each of our interactions is an opportunity to positively impact someone who will in turn impact others, and be a force for good.”

For insight into Justin’s expertise and perspective, we encourage you to watch his talk on building culture during uncertain times, as part of our Giants program last year.

Justin's talk as part of Giants 2020.

"There are lots of insights that can be shared both to, and across companies. There’s no reason why every company has to work this out from scratch on their own. I’m excited to help scale what I and other startups have learned, across the Australian and New Zealand startup ecosystem.”

From swimming with whale sharks, hanging out with wild gorillas in Rwanda, and raising lion cubs in Africa, to building Thumbtack from a small team to nearly 1,000 employees across the world, in Justin we’ve found another Wild Heart.

Welcome, Justin. We can’t wait to learn from you.