Groove Leadership

Our Leadership team is comprised of
ex-Google sales leaders and experienced enterprise software executives.

Chris Rothstein at Groove Headquarters
Chris Rothstein

Chris Rothstein

Co-Founder and CEO

Chris Rothstein is the CEO and co-founder of Groove, a leading sales productivity platform built to meet the complex needs of global enterprises. Chris co-founded Groove after spending five years in sales management at Google, where he successfully built and scaled multiple sales teams.

During his tenure at Google, Chris wanted to remove the mundane obstacles that their account executives had to do every day in order to allow them to spend more time selling. Since founding Groove in 2014, Chris has guided the company through seven years of rapid growth and customer adoption by more than 500 organizations and 70,000 users.

A native Minnesotan hailing from a rural town of 300, Chris believes strongly in the importance of hard-work, giving back, and helping others – three values that continue to guide him as a tech CEO and mentor to the next generation of entrepreneurs. Chris earned a BS in Information Systems and Entrepreneurial Management from the Curtis L. Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.

Austin Wang

Austin Wang

Co-Founder and CTO

Austin Wang is CTO and co-founder of Groove, the leading sales productivity platform for enterprises using Salesforce. Austin and CEO Chris Rothstein founded Groove after leaving successful enterprise sales leadership roles at Google where they experienced first-hand the need for a relationship-based sales engagement platform that could meet the needs of large, complex organizations.

As CTO, Austin developed Groove’s unique Salesforce-native architecture, which enables it to be managed in one-tenth the time of competitive solutions that sync to their own databases. By architecting Groove as a managed package that serves as an engagement layer for Salesforce, Austin’s pioneering approach has enabled customers to dramatically improve the quality of their sales activity data while also eliminating sync errors.

Austin’s information systems experience, enterprise sales experience, and entrepreneurial spirit have played a major role in growing Groove from an idea in 2014 to an Inc. 5000 fastest-growing private company in 2020 serving enterprise brands like Google, Capital One, and Uber. Austin holds a BA in Information Systems from the Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington.

Jin Huang, VP of Engineering at Groove

Jin Huang

VP of Engineering

Jin has more than 25 years of software leadership experience in enterprise, AI, IoT, and analytical SaaS product development and operations. As vice president of engineering, Jin is head of architecture, engineering, and operations at Groove.

Most recently, Jin was vice president of engineering for PARC AI, where he was responsible for developing and operating Alto AI-as-a-Service Platform and several high-value AI services leveraging NLP, Computer Vision, Augmented Reality, and Conversational AI. Before PARC, Jin was CTO and SVP of Engineering at Aktana, an AI-based customer engagement SaaS platform for the life sciences industry. In his 5 years at Aktana, Jin grew his team from 8 to over 160 globally. Jin has also served as CTO at Intradiem, VP of Engineering at SmartSynch (acquired by Itron), VP of Development at iMANY, and other leadership positions at Oracle, IBM, and Nsite (acquired by Business Objects/SAP).

Jin holds a MS and a PhD in engineering from Xi’an Jiaotong University, and an MS in computer science from University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Jin completed the Executive Leadership Program at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.

Sonia Sarao

Sonia Sarao

VP of Product

Sonia Sarao is a veteran product and engineering leader with more than 15 years of experience building world-class product teams at Archipelago, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and Fluxx. As vice president of product at Groove, Sonia has strengthened Groove’s position as the leading sales engagement platform for enterprises using Salesforce and has been instrumental in launching the first of Groove’s industry-specific products, Groove for Salesforce Financial Services Cloud.

Prior to Groove, was the first product hire at Fluxx, where she built the product management and development teams from the ground up as vice president of product and engineering. As the technical director of market data products at NYSE, she delivered six Market Data products in three years generating millions in revenue. Sonia is also an engaged mentor in the product community and strongly believes in paying it forward, which includes co-leading the San Francisco chapter of Women in Product, a global non-profit and advocacy organization for women in product management. Sonia holds a masters in software engineering from the University of Texas at Dallas and a BS in computer sciences from Punjab Technical University.

Ben Budde

Ben Budde

VP of Sales

A battle-tested sales leader and decorated Marine Corps officer, Ben has a proven track record leading successful teams in Inside, Mid-market, and Enterprise sales at Google — and in combat with the Marines. An atypical Silicon Valley sales executive, Ben exceeds sales targets by implementing strategies and solutions that are focused on helping people.

In his eleven years at Google, Ben helped ensure strong adoption of many strategic initiatives and was named “Rockstar Manager” as an Enterprise sales leader. From the Infantry to Operations to Sales, Ben hasn’t always been the strongest, fastest, or smartest, but he has a unique way of teaming up with and leading the people who are. Ben holds a BS in Finance and Management from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

kristin Hersant

Kristin Hersant

VP of Marketing

An interactive marketing veteran, Kristin has more than 25 years of experience managing successful integrated marketing programs to build brands, raise awareness, and generate demand. As vice president of marketing for Livefyre, Kristin spearheaded the company’s growth in the three years leading up to its acquisition by Adobe.

Throughout her career, Kristin has proven to be an experienced growth marketer with a demonstrated history of scaling venture-backed Series A companies into market leaders. Kristin’s extensive career in start-up marketing also spans marketing leadership positions at Worklete, Linqia, StrongView, Mindjet, L90, and Buzz Magazine. Kristin holds a BA in History from UCLA.

Mike Sutherland

Mike Sutherland

VP of Customer Experience

As vice president of customer experience, Mike Sutherland manages Groove’s entire post-sales organization, from customer success and account management to product and technical support. Under his leadership, Groove’s Customer Experience team has successfully scaled to provide award-winning support for more than 500 customers and 70,000 users. An experienced sales and customer success leader, Mike originally joined Groove as its first VP of Sales, where he spearheaded growth from pre-revenue to multiple millions in ARR during the company’s first four years.

Previously, Mike served as Director of Sales and Customer Success at the Accel-backed presentation software company Prezi, where he built the organization’s first sales team and customer success engine. Prior to Prezi, Mike was a Territory Sales Manager at Google, where he launched and grew the Google Apps for Business product line as a key member of the early Google Enterprise team. Michael has an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley Walter A. Haas School of Business, and a BA in Economics and History from the University of Virginia.

Craig Thomas, SVP of Revenue Operations at Groove

Craig Thomas

SVP of Operations

Craig has been helping high-growth technology companies scale for nearly 30 years. As SVP of Operations at Groove, Craig heads up Finance, Legal, GTM Operations, and other initiatives designed to accelerate the company’s growth in the US and internationally.

After starting his career as an analyst at Oracle during a period of rapid growth, Craig spent nearly a decade at Apple, where he managed revenue operations as the company grew exponentially with the launches of the original iPod, iPhone, and iPad.

After Apple, Craig spent six years as vice president of revenue operations at Jasper, where he helped it scale from a small Sequoia-backed SaaS IoT start-up to a successful enterprise tech company that was acquired by Cisco for $1.4 billion.

Most recently, Craig served as vice president of revenue operations at SaaS internet intelligence company ThousandEyes. During his five-year tenure, Craig brought on Groove for sales engagement and successfully scaled the company’s go-to-market operations, resulting in a $1 billion acquisition by Cisco.

Craig holds a BS in Business from the University of Arizona and a Finance MBA from Santa Clara University.

Tiffany Tran

Tiffany Tran

VP of Finance

With more than 20 years of corporate finance and M&A experience, Tiffany has built and led teams at rapidly growing startups across multiple industries, including software, telecommunications, semiconductor, and aerospace. At Groove, Tiffany is building a platform for finance and operations that is supporting the company’s record revenue growth. In 2020, Groove earned strong positions on the Inc. 5000, Deloitte Technology Fast 500, and San Francisco Business Times Fast 100 lists.

Prior to Groove, Tiffany was vice president of finance and administration at ASSIA, where she successfully restructured capital, established infrastructure to support over 100 percent growth, and transitioned the company to SaaS. As head of finance at Skybox, she spearheaded a $500M acquisition by Google. Tiffany has held other leadership roles at, Teranetics, Entrisphere, and USWeb. Tiffany holds a B.A. from San Francisco State University. When not at work, Tiffany enjoys Korean drama and fine dining.

Mike Guerchon, SVP of People at Groove

Mike Guerchon

SVP of People

Mike is an accomplished HR and workplace executive leader with more than 25 years of experience in both early-stage start-ups and global public companies. As SVP of People at Groove, Mike is focused on building dynamic and inclusive teams of high-performing people and shaping the culture of the rapidly growing company to reach its maximum organizational potential.

A results-oriented leader, Mike has a successful track record leading organizational transformations in recruiting, leadership development, training, employee relations, compensation, performance management, engagement and cultural development.

Prior to Groove, Mike has held executive HR roles at numerous fast-growing technology companies, including Volansi, Okta, IKON, and Riverbed Technology. As chief human resource officer at Riverbed Technology, Mike helped lead the organization through its IPO and rapid growth in revenue from $2 million to $1.2 billion and employees, rising from 60 to 2,800. 

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