For the past 15 years, ChannelAdvisor has strived to foster an employee-first workplace culture. We’re always looking to improve the experience that our employees have in the office, making sure to hear everyone’s opinions and using them as guiding principles as we grow and shape our company culture.
We’re excited to announce the newest member of our executive team: Amy Robertson, vice president and chief people officer! Prior to joining us, Amy was the vice president of global total rewards, people systems and operations at Red Hat. She brings a wealth of global HR management experience to ChannelAdvisor. We caught up with Amy for a quick interview to learn a little more about her and her new role here at ChannelAdvisor.
Welcome to the team Amy! Tell us about your background. We hear you were an algebra professor in a past life?
Ha! Hang on, because it was a long and unconventional journey with my career. I started college as a chemical engineering major, but that changed when I decided that I hated lab work as a sophomore. When I graduated from NCSU with an applied mathematics degree — I thought I wanted to be a pension actuary — my first job was with a consulting firm, now known as Aon Hewitt. I spent six years in retirement and benefits consulting. I finally decided to make the jump to human resources when I wanted to combine my analytical background with people.
When we started our family and my kids were babies, I worked part-time at consulting gigs, HR jobs and yes, at Wake Tech as an algebra instructor. My goal was to have the best of both worlds while the kids were little. I stayed home during the day with the kids, and handed the babies to my husband at night so I could teach classes for Wake Tech. I only did it for a few years, but it was incredibly rewarding and helped me stay relevant in my career. In fact, one of my students turned out to be a co-worker at Red Hat several years later.
How would you describe your new role as CPO?
An enabler of the business, a cultivator of culture and engagement and a consultant for talent strategy.
What excites you about working at ChannelAdvisor?
ChannelAdvisor is in a magical phase in my opinion. Meaning we’re small enough to be nimble and flexible to address our needs quickly, but large enough to tackle exciting and complex business problems. I love working in technology with the smartest, most intelligent talent in our industry.
How would you describe the culture at ChannelAdvisor?
Entrepreneurial and fun, employee-supportive and life-empathetic — our employees not only care about the company’s success, but care about each other.
Why is culture so important to hiring and retaining top talent?
Culture is how we get things done; it’s our personality. It drives the connection of the whole employee to their purpose and passion and to the company mission. Today’s workforce wants to be associated with a culture that cares about them and their community, in addition to being successful in business. Articulating our cultural norms and living them each day will ensure that our employment experience is meaningful and authentic while driving the attraction and retention of our talent.
Who inspires you?
My family. My husband, Jason, and my kids (Evan, 17 and Avee Ann, 14) are my biggest cheerleaders and inspiration.
Favorite restaurant, type of food or favorite meal?
It’s a toss-up: sushi at Sushi One in North Raleigh or a bacon cheeseburger at Hamburger Joe’s in Myrtle Beach.
Fill in the blank: “When I’m not working, you can find me _____.”
Running on the Neuse River Trail jamming to the alternative station on Pandora.
Last but not least: Who’s your favorite Star Wars character?
Yoda — because he has all the answers to life, “Do or do not; there is no try.” And because I pretend to use “the Force” every now and then to get what I want!