Rick's History

January 2014 - Present (5 Years, 3 Months)


San Francisco, CA, US

TalentSky is a new open skills platform delivered through a modern social media user experience where people connect their career development to aspirational employment in real time. We raised over $25m from impact investors including many prominent CEOs and recruited a world class board of directors including the former CEOs of Safeway and Heidrick & Struggles, the former CHROs of Target, Tesla and Verizon Oath, along with Louis Upkins a nationally recognized spokesperson on culture and inclusion.

First Enterprise Customer - Sembcorp

Matt Friedman is Chief Digital Officer at Sembcorp, a leading alternative energy company based in Singapore. He has a vision to transform the energy industry by leveraging technology including powering real-time skill insights to help the workforce build skills of the future. Sembcorp is our first Nirvana release customer and we are all very proud to join forces and make the world a better place.

Nirvana Feed

Computing is evolving from users requesting data to a push model. Our goal is to move the employment system to real-time skill insights delivered through a social media feed. With the release of our Home Feed today we are on our way to fulfilling our vision.

Project Nirvana

Collaborated with the design, development and quality teams to create a method to push skill insights to users in a modern social media feed.

TalentSky Enterprise Customer

Closed a multi-billion dollar energy company based in Singapore on the use of TalentSky Enterprise. Worked closely with the Chief Digital Officer and his HR leadership team to build the business case for skill standardization to enhance internal career mobility.

Kevin Rollins Joins The Talentsky Investor Coalition

TalentSky is more than a company, we are a cause. Our mission is to transform the employment system to a skill standard and drive a more fair and accessible future for all Americans. Our investors believe in our purpose and inspire us with their trust. Kevin Rollins, the former CEO of Dell, joins our investor coalition and we are so honored to earn his support.

Louis Upkins Joins Talentsky, Inc. Board of Directors

Louis joins the TalentSky, Inc. Board of Directors as a passionate thought leader on the challenges facing the American Employment system. He will be invaluable in guiding the company in its historic quest to establish a managed skill standard that creates a fair and inclusive future for all.

October 2003 - December 2013 (10 Years, 3 Months)

Managing Partner

Redwood Shores, CA, US

Founder of executive search firm focussed on C-Level searches for private equity clients. After the 2008 economic crisis and reduction in search demand, shifted the business model to time based talent consulting with an emphasis of complimenting the internal executive talent acquisition function. Marketed service to large companies including PepsiCo, AMEX, VISA, Cisco, Microsoft, Vanguard, Viacom and others.

Global GTO Search

Worked with Paulette Alviti to conduct search for global CTO, reporting to CIO.

Recruiting Outsourcing Project

Provided outsourced recruiting function and conducted senior leadership searches along with the NA sales build out.

July 2001 - June 2003 (2 Years)

Siebel CEO Staff - Executive Search

San Mateo, CA, US

As part of Siebel System, recruited by Tom Siebel as a direct report on his e-staff to create one of the first internal executive talent acquisition functions within the technology industry. Recruited 15 executives including Bill McDermott (now CEO SAP) as EVP Sales.

Recruited Bill McDermott to Siebel

As a direct report to Tom Siebel recruited Bill McDermott to run world wide sales at Siebel Systems. Bill is now CEO of SAP.

Recruited Former Governor of Montana to BOD

Recruited Marc Rasicot, former Governor of Montana, to Board of Directors.

June 1999 - June 2001 (2 Years, 1 Month)

Managing Director, Management Recruiting

San Francisco, CA, US

Joined ICG pre-IPO as employee #7 to design, build and implement a world class, internal management recruiting capability.

Built Management Recruiting Function

Built one of the largest internal management recruiting groups within an investment company with over forty professionals in the US, Europe and Asia capable of conducting over fifty concurrent searches.

Recruited McKinsey Partner to ICG

In 1996 before the IPO, I assisted leadership team in the recruitment of the McKinsey NA Technology Practice Partner, Todd Hewlin, to join ICG as Managing Partner, Strategy.

July 1997 - June 1999 (2 Years)


Palo Alto, CA, US

Conducted many high profile searches including working directly with Steve Jobs to recruit Tim Cook to Apple in 1998.

Recruited Tim Cook

While a partner at Hedrick & Struggles in 1998 worked directly with Steve Jobs to conduct a search for the Senior Vice President of World Wide Manufacturing that led to the hiring of Tim Cook.

Developed Equity Billing Program

Developed unique program to earn a portion of fees as a warrant with pre-ipo clients. The program resulted in over 1,000 stock transactions and over $100m in equity gains for the company.

February 1992 - January 1996 (4 Years)


Cupertino, CA, US

Founder & CEO of first electronic distribution venture in the educational software industry.

Created Club KidSoft

Developed Club KidSoft, the world's first children's educational software distribution CD-ROM where children can try games and parent can buy via electronic unlock.

Strategic Partnership with Hearst

Developed strategic go-to-market partnership and investment with Hearst Corporation to distribute Club KidSoft Magazine in North America.

May 1984 - January 1992 (7 Years, 9 Months)


San Jose, CA, US

Co-Founder with Ken Virnig of one of the top executive search firms serving the Silicon Valley Venture Capital community.

Partnership with Accel Partners

Worked closely with Jim Breyer and Arthur Patterson to recruit senior level executives to their portfolio companies.