Gorillas Technologies GmbH, a rising last-mile delivery startup, has expanded its executive leadership team by signing longtime international human resources executive Deena Fox as its first global chief people officer. In her new role, Fox is responsible for all aspects of Gorillas’ company culture and global people strategy. She brings to the company broad experience from fast-growing companies in the tech, retail, health care and e-commerce sectors.
Having grown to more than 10,000 people in just one year, Berlin-based Gorillas saw the need to focus on its HR strategy and infrastructure to ensure a strong foundation for future growth.
A former HR executive at Amazon, Hugo Boss, Jet and Oscar Health, Fox has worked for a wide range of industries, building and leading the people function in early-stage startups, companies preparing for and executing an IPO, and large companies continuing to experience hyper-growth. Now she will enable ongoing accelerated growth at Gorillas while facilitating the company’s diverse and inclusive culture.
“When I first heard the story of Gorillas, I was blown away by the explosive vertical growth, global ambition and laser focus on execution — I immediately wanted to be a part of making history with this team,” noted Fox. “What I found even more compelling was [founder and] CEO Kağan Sümer’s unequivocal commitment to balance Gorillas hyper-growth with a major focus on people and HR infrastructure. Gorillas continues to attract smart, kind, ambitious people all over the world, and now, at the company’s one-year mark, it’s time to take our commitment to their growth, development and experience to the next level.”
Fox is also part of the management board, reporting directly to Sümer.
“Gorillas is a diverse collective of authentic people, taking bold decisions to deliver on our mission,” he said. “Through Gorillas’ rapid expansion, we’ve brought growth in commerce and job opportunities to the markets we operate in, but of all of the investments we’ve made or will make in the future, nothing is more important than investing in our people. I have great confidence in Deena’s ability to design and execute a global people strategy that will have a strong and immediate impact on our global workforce, while positioning us well for the many stages of growth still ahead.”
Gorillas’ on-demand delivery platform takes just 10 minutes to get a user’s desired goods from the cart to the designated location. Users of the app have access to more than up to 2,000 essential items at retail prices with a low delivery fee. The company raised $290 million in its Series B funding round, led by repeat investor Coatue Management, and has become Europe’s fastest unicorn ever, only months after closing its $44 million Series A funding round. In a little more than a year, Gorillas has expanded to more than 55 cities, among them Amsterdam, London, Paris, Madrid, New York, Milan and Munich, and built 100-plus warehouses in nine countries. Currently, Gorillas is available in Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France, Italy, Denmark, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.