Slack Names One of the Most Powerful Women in Corporate America, Edith Cooper, to Its Board - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine Summer 2019 Issue

Edith Cooper, the former executive vice president and global head of human capital at Goldman Sachs has been added to Silicon Valley company Slack’s board, according to a blog post from Slack’s CEO Stewart Butterfield. Cooper is also on Black Enterprise’s most recent list of the “300 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America.” Additionally, she is set to speak at this year’s Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit.

From Butterfield’s post:

I’m excited to announce that we are adding a second independent member to our Board of Directors. Edith Cooper joins us after more than 30 years of experience building successful teams in major organizations. Most recently, Edith served as the Global Head of Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs, which means she oversaw everything related to talent and teams for a company of more than 30,000 people—from recruiting and retention to creating and sustaining a healthy culture. She has an unrivaled depth of experience in the hardest challenges that modern organizations face, and Edith is going to be a huge asset as we continue to expand our capabilities. She is a deep thinker, a good listener, and a wise strategist, and I’m thrilled to have her join us as Slack enters its next phase of growth.

Slack is a startup that offers cloud-based instant messaging and collaboration. TechCrunch named it the best startup of 2017. The company is estimated to have a valuation of $9 billion. In 2016, Butterfield also spoke at Black Enterprise’s TechConneXt Summit about the need to diversify the tech industry in 2016.

Cooper, a Wall Street veteran, joined Goldman Sachs in 1996 to build and lead its energy sales group. She shot up the corporate ranks from there. In In 2000, she became co-head of the commodity business in Europe and Asia, based in London, and in 2002 assumed responsibility for the firm’s futures business.

“I’ve had the opportunity to contribute to Goldman Sachs through contributing to our clients’ success and to the development of my colleagues, and by giving back to the communities we operate in,” she reflects. “Am I done yet? Absolutely not. There is so much more opportunity at the firm and in our industry, and so I think there is more to do,” she told Black Enterprise in 2011.

In a more recent interview before today’s announcement, Cooper talked about how technology would influence her next career move in an interview for Black Enterprise’s TV shows.

“We’re in a world where technology and ideas are evolving the way we do everything. And so, my next chapter will be driven by purpose. It’s about the purpose of continuing to be involved in organizations and with people who are really going to continue to evolve the way we do everything—the way we connect as human beings, as people,” she said. “The way that we break down barriers to access. The way that we think seriously about each of our responsibilities to change the incoming equality dynamic that has become the norm in our society and so many societies.”

Cooper wrote a post on LinkedIn about joining Slack’s board:

I was impressed by Slack from our first introduction. Internally, Slack has the kind of talent and spirit that can move a company forward, operating from a shared foundation that aligns so deeply with my own. The investment in both products and people at Slack is rare, and I’m grateful for the chance to work with and learn from such a remarkable team.

As a product, Slack helps people better connect in the workplace, and that’s something I’m passionate about. It’s a powerful mission, to make people’s working lives simpler, more pleasant and more productive. Slack is quite literally improving the work experience for millions of people, every day – connecting people across the world, breaking down borders, enabling exposure to different perspectives – bringing people together to transform organizations on a global scale.