Women’s Leadership Group Chief Hires First CFO as It Surpasses $1 Billion Valuation

Chief, a network that connects women in corporate leadership positions, hired its first chief financial officer on the heels of raising $100 million in a Series B round, giving the company a $1.1 billion valuation.

Coralie Witter, CFO of Chief


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Chief

New York-based Chief on Monday said it has appointed Coralie Witter as CFO. Ms. Witter most recently served as vice president of finance at personal-finance company SoFi Technologies Inc.

Before that, she was vice president of strategy at fast-food chain Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.

and held investment management roles at Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

and Marsico Capital Management, a Denver-based investment-management firm.

The goal behind subscription-based Chief is to get more women into corporate leadership positions through networking, coaching and community building, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Carolyn Childers said. In 2021, women filled 24% of US C-suite positions, 27% of senior vice president roles and 30% of vice president seats, according to management-consulting firm McKinsey & Co.

Chief, which was founded in 2019, has about 15,000 members, with 70% of those sponsored by their companies, including Alphabet Inc.’s

Google, Nike Inc.,

Delta Air Lines Inc.

and Netflix Inc.

The remaining 30% of Chief’s members are individuals. The annual membership fee at the vice president level is $5,800, and the fee is $7,900 for those in C-suite positions.

The women’s leadership group has raised $140 million from investors such as CapitalG, Alphabet’s growth fund, which led the recent funding round. Appetite for Chief’s services is high as more companies are budgeting for learning and development opportunities for women, said Laela Sturdy, a general partner at CapitalG who is on the Chief board.

Chief doesn’t have plans to raise more capital or go public at the moment, Ms. Childers said, adding that the focus for the network is growing its business.

Ms. Witter said she plans to provide financial input on key decisions, expand the finance function and monitor performance indicators. She also will lean on her previous experience at Chipotle and other companies, she said.

“There’s a lot of relevant learnings that I have from those companies, which I think will help me build the finance foundation in a way that I think helps us scale and leaves open options,” Ms. Witter said.

At Chipotle, for instance, she implemented strategic planning processes, Ms. Witter said. SoFi, meanwhile, went public through a combination with a special-purpose acquisition company during her tenure.

Write to Jennifer Williams-Alvarez at jennifer.williams-alvarez@wsj.com

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