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Instacart Hires Facebook Veteran as Its New CEO

Fidji Simo, already one of the highest-ranking female execs in tech, takes over on Aug. 2
Gina Acosta, Progressive Grocer
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Over the last decade at Facebook, Fidji Simo, 35, led development and strategy for the Facebook app.

Instacart is turning to a Facebook legend to help build the grocery delivery leader into the next trillion-dollar tech company.

Instacart has named Fidji Simo, 35, as its next CEO, effective Aug. 2, reporting to Instacart's Board of Directors. Simo, who joined Instacart's Board of Directors in January, is a consumer technology industry veteran, having spent more than 15 years leading the operations, strategy and product development for some of the world's leading businesses.

Simo has been the mastermind behind many of Facebook's biggest launches, including News Feed, Stories, Groups, Video, Marketplace, Gaming, News, Dating, Ads and more. Simo is also extremely active in the diversity, equity and inclusion space. She is the co-founder of Women in Product, a leading non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women in product management, advancing the careers of women in technology and advocating for equal representation in the workplace.

Apoorva Mehta, Instacart's founder and current CEO, will transition to Executive Chairman of the Board, and will also report to Instacart's Board of Directors. Instacart’s Board also includes Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman; Daniel Sundheim, founder and CIO of D1 Capital Partners; Michael Moritz, partner at Sequoia Capital; Jeffrey Jordan, managing partner at Andreessen Horowitz; and Barry McCarthy, director and former CFO and global head of Advertising for Spotify.

"Seven months ago, I invited Fidji to join Instacart's Board and, since then, I've been blown away by her capabilities as a leader. Over the last decade at Facebook, she's been a part of every big moment in the company's history including helping it grow from 1,000 to nearly 100,000 people and leading the world's most popular app. Fidji was also at Facebook during its transition from a private company to the public market and understands what it takes to lead and scale a transformational company like Instacart. I believe that with Fidji at the helm we'll be in an even stronger position to seize the incredible opportunity in front of us," Mehta said. "Building Instacart over the last 10 years has been one of the most fulfilling experiences of my life. In my new role as Executive Chairman, I'll remain very engaged in the business on a day-to-day basis and will partner with Fidji on long-term and strategic moves that will shape the future of Instacart and our industry for years to come. And, I'll be able to do so knowing that with Fidji we have the right leader in place who has the experience we need to help make Instacart's vision a reality."

Before joining Instacart, Simo was the VP and head of the Facebook app, which reaches billions of people every month. Over the last decade at Facebook, Simo oversaw the development and strategy for the Facebook app. She was also a core driver of Facebook's mobile monetization strategy and led the team in charge of architecting Facebook's advertising business and developing ad formats for mobile. She also made video a critical part of the Facebook experience, from rolling out videos that autoplay in News Feed, to building and launching Facebook Live and Watch. Prior to Facebook, Simo joined eBay in 2007 as part of the company's Strategy team. While at eBay, she helped build out the company's local commerce and classified-advertising initiatives.

"I fell in love with Instacart first as a customer, then as a Board member and now I'm honored to join the company as CEO and lead its next growth chapter. Apoorva founded Instacart 10 years ago with an ambitious vision to bring an entire industry online and over the years he's built and scaled a phenomenal business that supports the entire grocery ecosystem. Instacart has transformed the way people eat and solved a truly essential need for millions of families like my own  access to food," Simo said. "As we think about the future of food, we believe the way people eat and their relationship with food will fundamentally change over the next decade. They'll expect a more convenient experience, the widest selection of food at their fingertips, faster delivery times, increased personalization, and more inspiration. Instacart has an opportunity to deliver all of that for customers, while also becoming an even stronger ally and growth accelerator for retailers and advertisers, and helping create economic opportunities for hundreds of thousands of shoppers. I'm excited to work with the talented teams at Instacart, as well as our retail partners, to reimagine the future of grocery, and create a world where everyone has access to the food they love and more time to enjoy it together."

Simo's appointment comes months after industry veteran and Silicon Valley titan Slootman joined Instacart's Board as the company prepares to go public this year. Slootman, chairman and CEO of Snowflake, has more than 25 years of experience as an entrepreneur and executive in the enterprise software industry. Slootman led Snowflake's IPO last year. Instacart is considering going public through a direct listing, Reuters has reported. It has hired Goldman Sachs Group to lead its upcoming IPO, according to Reuters.

Instacart raised $265 million in its latest round of funding, more than doubling its valuation to $39 billion in less than six months.

Simo, who was born in France, holds a Master of Management from HEC Paris and spent the last year of her Masters program at UCLA Anderson School of Business. 

San Francisco-based Instacart today partners with nearly 600 national, regional and local retailers, including unique brand names, to offer delivery and pickup services from more than 45,000 stores across more than 5,500 cities in North America. Instacart is available to over 85% of U.S. households and 70% of Canadian households. 

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