Chief Marketing Officer

  • Full Time
  • Palo Alto, CA
  • Applications have closed

Website Skoll Foundation

Chief Marketing Officer

PLB Search – Palo Alto, CA

About the Skoll Foundation

Led by CEO Don Gips, the Skoll Foundation seeks to catalyze transformational social change by investing in, connecting, and championing social entrepreneurs and other change leaders who together advance equitable solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.

Jeff Skoll, the first employee and first President of eBay, created the Skoll Foundation in 1999 to pursue his vision of a sustainable world of peace and prosperity for all. The Skoll Foundation is part of the Jeff Skoll Group, which also includes Participant and the Capricorn Investment Group.

The Skoll Foundation is at an exciting inflection point in its two-decade long history. With equity at the center of an evolving strategy that extends beyond its traditional focus on social entrepreneurship, the Foundation aspires to fundamentally shift the trajectory on urgent global problems including pandemics and global health systems, racial justice, climate action, effective governance, and inclusive economies. We do this by connecting social entrepreneurs and other change leaders around the world, investing in their solutions, and championing their work.

In this evolving strategy, the Foundation is also committed to finding new ways to best use what we’ve built over time—including our brand, network, storytelling, and convening platforms. Creative use of these assets is a core, dynamic part of our strategy to drive transformational social change on a global scale.

Role Overview

We are seeking a seasoned executive and strategic, creative thinker who is motivated to put their talents toward bending the arc on some of the world’s most pressing challenges. The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) will be a highly collaborative role working across the Skoll Foundation and Jeff Skoll Group to help articulate, activate, and maximize the Foundation’s brand and platform as a champion of change leaders.

The CMO will play a key leadership role at the Skoll Foundation in catalyzing transformational change in the world. In collaboration with others, the CMO will drive transformational social change through the Foundation’s brand, storytelling, network, and convenings platforms. As part of the evolving strategy, the CMO will help strengthen ties between these assets internally, as well as identify and activate high-potential external partners from across sectors and around the world. The CMO will also collaborate across the Jeff Skoll Group to help create a cohesive, impact-focused narrative among these entities consistent with the Foundation and the Group’s brand, especially on issue areas of mutual interest.

The CMO will have a dual objective around storytelling and communication. The first will be to help the Skoll Foundation continue to build out its brand and tell its story, as well as the stories of its grantees, in new and appropriate ways as the Foundation steps into its next chapter. The second will be to leverage the Foundation’s brand, storytelling, network, and convenings platform towards driving impact on issues like global health, effective governance, racial justice, inclusive economies, and climate action. By working with storytelling, media, and other partners across multiple platforms, the Skoll Foundation seeks to create broad awareness of transformational social change, engage influential audiences, spur conversation, drive action and mobilize outside resources—thereby accelerating large-scale impact addressing the world’s most pressing problems.

The Skoll Foundation believes that leveraging its convening platform and network is a critical function for transformational social change. The Foundation’s hallmark event is the Skoll World Forum, followed by smaller, more focused convenings globally. The CMO will bring new ideas, connections and partners as the team explores ways to expand and refine the convening practice to both virtual and in-person convenings, under the new strategy. The Foundation also fosters a community of Skoll Awardees, other grantees, and partners, as well as a broader network poised for activation on a wide range of issues.

The CMO will be a key member of the senior leadership team and expected to provide strategic direction and a strong guiding voice on critical matters related to the Foundation. They will also be asked to create systems and processes that drive efficiencies across the organization and foster more seamless integration between and within their functional areas. The CMO will provide brand strategy expertise, counsel, and leadership across the organization and broader network and will be relied on as an expert and sounding board.

The CMO will successfully lead and enable a high-performing, collaborative and integrated team who are unified around a clear and compelling vision for success. They will manage approximately 15 talented professionals (as well as several agencies) who are responsible for connecting and championing our community of change leaders and leveraging the Foundation’s brand, network, and platform assets to drive impact against priority issues. The CMO will bring exceptional management and mentorship experience, a humble, diplomatic leadership style, and deep functional skills to the role.

The CMO position is newly created, reflecting the growth of the organization and its future ambition. The ideal candidate has an entrepreneurial spirit matched with substantial leadership experience across a variety of areas, including communication, storytelling, network, community development and engagement, convenings, and partnerships. In addition, the CMO will bring to the Skoll Foundation an extensive personal and professional network, built over time, which they will leverage to open new doors for the organization, its grantees, and community to maximize influence and impact. 

Year One Key Success Metrics

The CMO will be viewed as successful in their first year by pointing to accomplishments that include:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive, cross-Foundation strategy that advances Skoll’s work to ‘bend the curve’ (accelerate the pace of change) for the world’s most pressing issues through key Foundation platforms and assets, with clear examples of successfully catalyzing the community and network towards transformative change.
  • Builds out and promotes the Skoll narrative and brand strategy in a manner consistent with our history and new strategy.
  • Skoll Foundation has a clearly defined internal and external narrative around its vision for the future, its mission to change social systems globally for the better, and the broader role and responsibility of philanthropy in society.
  • All areas that ladder up to the CMO have clear direction on team priorities and milestones as well as individual goals that support those priorities.
  • Build strong working relationships across the executive leadership team and Board of Directors, as well as colleagues across the Skoll Foundation and Jeff Skoll Group; key stakeholders report having trust and confidence in the leadership of the CMO.
  • The CMO works strategically and collaboratively across the organization and the Jeff Skoll Group to draw connections and maximize impact.

Experience and Qualifications

The ideal candidate for this role will be a seasoned executive who is a confident, collaborative marketing and communications leader with 15+ years of diverse, global experience which may come from the private sector, government/politics, relevant agencies, or a non-profit entity. They should be an innovative communicator, brand strategist, and provide expert counsel on reputation management as well as on driving impact by leveraging the Foundation’s brand, network, and platform assets.  They should be a strategic and creative thinker who can connect the dots and serve as a trusted resource and advisor during a time of significant change and growth. They connect with people easily and will have built an extensive network over the years from which to draw upon in this role.

The right candidate is a leader with impeccable judgment and listening skills who excels in inspiring and enabling others to do their very best work. They are a team player who places a premium on collaboration and solicits multiple points of view. Essential personal qualities for success include integrity, humility, listening skills, creativity, optimism, humor, empathy, collaboration, flexibility/adaptability, action-orientation, and a deep commitment to equity.

Skills and Competencies

  • Strategic and collaborative thinker and results-oriented leader who has relevant experience driving social change.
  • Confident, agile, persuasive leader with a growth mindset who can both challenge the status quo and recognize when to honor the history and norms of the organization.
  • A creative thinker who can realize big ideas along with the ability to ‘roll up sleeves,’ connect with team members and get stuff done – on time and often in conjunction with other organizations.
  • Exceptional manager with the ability to assess, design, and build high-performing teams, and bring out the best in individuals’ assets and capabilities.
  • Exceptional communicator, able to present ideas verbally, in writing, formally and informally, with brevity, concision, clarity, and conviction.
  • Analytical skills and orientation toward measurement, outcomes and continuous improvement and learning. Receptive to feedback and views mistakes or challenges as necessary ingredients for development.
  • Professional, intuitive, observant, and capable of shifting leadership approach based on different professional environments or circumstances.
  • Demonstrated ability to seek and navigate diverse perspectives and team with individuals from a variety of backgrounds and at all levels.
    • Experience working with Boards and high-profile, powerful public figures.
  • Experience driving cause-related marketing campaigns, political campaigns or other issue-based initiatives; able to utilize a full range of communications and engagement tools to drive social change.
  • Demonstrated interest in the Skoll Foundation and its mission. Some knowledge about the field of social entrepreneurship.
  • Proven experience creating flexible roadmaps for crisis communications:- Successfully navigate and mitigate any crises that arise; exhibit excellent judgment and confidence, based on experience.– Proactively prepare crisis communications plans to address a variety of stakeholders; credibly advise the Executive Leadership Team and Board.
  • Support and partner with the Vice President of Talent and Culture in creating and maintaining internal communications programs that support impactful cross-company communications.
  • Bring a global mindset with experience living or working internationally preferred.
  • Lives the Skoll Foundation values.

Skoll Foundation Values

  • We trust those closest to the challenge to lead the change. (Proximity, Respect, Humility)
  • We believe diversity is a strength and difference is a teacher. (Diversity, Humility)
  • We can’t do it alone. It takes a community to drive enduring impact. (Impact, Community, Collaboration, Humility)
  • We strive for action over perfection. (Urgency, Boldness, Accountability)
  • We learn from our successes and failures and admit when we don’t have the answers. (Transparency, Learning, Humility)
  • We embrace a profound sense of responsibility. (Responsibility, Accountability)


The successful candidate must possess a Bachelor’s degree.


Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on whatsapp
Share on email
Share on telegram

Recent posts


40,000 subscribers already enjoy our premium stuff.