You know who is a straight up, all around class act? Former TechCrunch CEO Heather Harde, who picked up the “Best General Management” award at this year’s TechFellows Awards because, well, she deserved the hell out of it.
Harde could probably work wherever or do whatever she wants after weathering the brilliant tempest that was building the TechCrunch brand, and I caught up with her backstage at the awards to ask her precisely what she was going to do next.
The answer? Rest (Harde was tan from a recent scuba diving vacation!) and reflection, followed by amping up her efforts in Ron Conway’s SFCiti initiative, a coalition which aims to serve as a liaison between tech companies and the city government. She’s otherwise keeping her options open, as she should.
“Tech is willing to be a really great corporate citizen, but tech companies need to focus on their day-to-day business,” Harde explained, revealing why she thinks SFCiti is important. The organization plans on making civic involvement as lightweight as possible for startups, guiding them through programs that improve their civic and business life as well as offering free services like recruitment tools for lower-level workers.
When asked whether efforts like SFCiti and other factors were steadily moving tech’s locus to San Francisco, Harde related her own experiences of relocating the TechCrunch offices from Palo Alto to San Francisco due to lack of space, “As the tech economy has gotten healthy again we’ve run out of space in Palo Alto. Because the city of San Francisco is bigger and you’re having a lot of these [spontaneous] interactions [in SF], it shows how vibrant tech is right now.”
Tech is a lot more vibrant with you in it, Heather.
Heather Harde is the former CEO of TechCrunch and General Manager of AOL’s technology properties (which include Engadget, Joystiq, and TUAW). She joined TechCrunch in 2007, built it into the leading tech news site, with a thriving conference business, and sold it to AOL in September, 2010. She spent the previous ten years working within News Corporation. She held a variety of corporate development, strategy and operating roles both in Los Angeles and New York. Most recently, she was part...