Pinterest Hires Square and Google Veteran Francoise Brougher as Its First COO

February 27, 2018, 5:00 PM UTC

Pinterest is staffing up its C-Suite with the hire of its first chief operating officer.

The visual search engine announced on Tuesday that it has tapped Silicon Valley veteran Francoise Brougher, who will start March 12 and be based out of the company’s headquarters in San Francisco.

Brougher most recently headed up Square’s business unit (SQ), where she was responsible for the mobile payments company’s growth operations. Brougher also worked with small and medium-sized business advertisers as vice president of SMB global sales and operations at Google (GOOGL).

As COO at Pinterest—a private company with social network roots now rapidly scaling toward a future as a digital advertising juggernaut helped with a touch of AI—Brougher will be tasked with managing and growing Pinterest’s operations worldwide. That includes overseeing all of the sales, partner marketing, measurement, corporate and business development, and communications teams. Founded in 2009, Pinterest’s workforce now stands at more than 1,200 employees globally.

Pinterest COO Francoise Brougher

Brougher will report directly to Pinterest CEO and co-founder Ben Silbermann and serve as part of the executive management team.

Pinterest noted in Tuesday’s announcement that Brougher’s new role will be key for expanding its user base and advertising programs around the world. Pinterest says it currently has than 200 million monthly active “Pinners” (company parlance for users) worldwide, with more than half of those users based outside the United States. Furthermore, Pinterest says more than 75% of new signups also stem from outside the U.S.

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Brougher’s appointment also follows a burgeoning trend as more top tier tech companies hire COOs for the first time (as well as chiefs for diversity and branding, the latter of which has a lot to do with how a company and its mission is perceived by its audience). It’s a curious hiring pattern implicitly influenced by the growing conversation over diversity and gender balance across the workplace and at the top of major industries. Following the so-called “Sheryl Sandberg effect” (named after the esteemed Facebook COO), the current has picked up with recent promotions and hires, such as Belinda Johnson at Airbnb and Rosalind Brewer at Starbucks.

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