Datadog Executive Spotlight: Titi Cole and Julie Richardson | Datadog

Datadog Executive Spotlight: Titi Cole and Julie Richardson

Author Thomas Sobolik

Published: March 15, 2024

Datadog has continued to accelerate the growth of our business while scaling the platform sustainably since our IPO in 2019. As a public company, we are highly focused on serving our investors. That’s why we look to our board of directors to represent shareholders’ interests and advise our executive leadership on critical decisions.

Financial services organizations have always been a key component of Datadog’s customer base, and after going public, we were excited to bring on leaders with deep experience in this field. Board members Titi Cole and Julie Richardson draw from their backgrounds in banking, consulting, and private equity to help guide Datadog’s growth, and they advise our management team on product strategy, operations, finances, marketing, and more.

In this post, we’ll hear from Titi and Julie about their roles at Datadog, including how they represent investor perspectives, help the company serve the financial services industry, and support Datadog’s workplace culture values.

Representing investors to steward the future

Julie Richardson joined the board as an experienced investor and executive, having served as a managing director and senior advisor of the leading private equity firm Providence Equity Partners among other leadership positions at worldwide banks.

“When deciding whether to join a board, I focus on companies with a long growth runway, a real competitive advantage, and a big addressable market,” Julie explains. “When I was approached to join the Datadog board, I leaped at the opportunity, because it was pretty clear that Datadog was going to become a very important company.”

Julie Richardson

Working with the board, Julie helps Datadog’s executive leadership make key structural decisions centered on both the company’s growth and its sustainability at scale. This includes evaluating potential acquisitions, helping manage the company’s investments, and advising on the implementation of operations and security systems.

“Our job is to ask the tough questions,” Julie says. “Are we investing too much or too little? Are potential acquisition opportunities that the company is evaluating attractive? We also spend time making sure that we are addressing our downside risks, through investments in things like cybersecurity and great accounting and control systems.”

Overall, Julie can attest that Datadog is making these decisions smartly to exceed its lofty growth goals—persevering where many early-stage public companies falter.

“For some companies in hypergrowth mode, there have been challenges in maintaining the quality of the product, the effectiveness of the sales force, and the positive experiences of the customer,” she says. “I would give Datadog extremely high marks in terms of meeting and exceeding post-IPO expectations on all of these fronts.”

Helping Datadog serve the financial services industry

Titi Cole joined the Datadog board in 2022 after having worked in financial services for the past 30 years, and today she leads a global team at Citi as the CEO of Legacy Franchises.

Titi Cole

Titi and her organization deliver digital banking solutions to millions of customers around the world. Leading the delivery of innovations such as mobile payments, real-time fraud alerts, and simplified online banking, Titi has played a key role in Citi’s digital transformation.

“I have seen how technology has transformed so many industries, including financial services, and the opportunity to help scale Datadog’s capabilities and deliver to clients around the world was a very compelling opportunity,” Titi says.

Like Julie, Titi views her role on the board as “providing advice and guidance as the company continues to scale post-IPO,” and she believes that Datadog’s observability solution is critical for financial institutions that need to “deliver a reliable, secure, and exceptional customer experience across massive volumes of data.”

As banks and other financial services institutions migrate to the cloud, their technology takes on stringent security, performance, and compliance requirements that their digital service providers have to meet. “Banks are migrating data to the cloud to improve their ability to manage the tons of data they have and to use that data to deliver solutions for clients,” Titi explains. “And, as they choose providers and partners on this journey, security capabilities are a key deciding factor.”

Datadog solutions enable banks and other institutions to safely migrate their infrastructure, catch and mitigate incidents, track security threats and exposures, understand application performance from end to end, and more. Titi believes that the quality of our solution has inspired a level of customer loyalty that differentiates us from our competitors. “One of our key differentiators today is the loyalty of our client base, measured through retention,” she says. “Datadog has secured that loyalty by solving critical pain points for clients.”

Supporting Datadog’s culture

Titi and Julie both say that their decisions to join the board were based as much on their appreciation of Datadog’s culture and workplace reputation as they were on the company’s growth prospects. Titi believes that Datadog’s growth hinges on our customer retention and reputation as a leading tech employer. “My priorities are to ensure that we maintain our client focus as we scale, continue to deliver new capabilities, and become the employer of choice for talent in the tech industry,” she says.

There’s a palpable pride held among Datadog employees in their workplace, Titi says, as well as a culture of openness and collaboration that foster the dynamic interplay of questions, ideas, and perspectives. “Curiosity, empathy, and inclusiveness are workplace values I have actively cultivated on my teams, and I am glad to be able to help make these enduring values at Datadog.”

Julie agrees. “I love the culture at Datadog,” she says. “When I think about how to characterize it, the first thing that comes to mind is smart people who don’t seem to take themselves too seriously. I can feel the pride within the organization, and it is wonderful to see the stickers and hoodies in full force when I walk the halls. And as a board member, I know how important diversity and inclusion is to the senior management of Datadog, and this is a hallmark of any great organization.”

Guiding Datadog into the future

Julie and Titi both serve on the board to help Datadog conquer the modern, high-scale challenges faced in our early years as a public technology company. They are committed long-term to ensuring that Datadog maintains its remarkable pace of innovation. As Julie says about the company’s prospects, “we are still in early innings in terms of the growth ahead for Datadog.”

Check out our ebook to learn more about how Datadog is solving problems for digital financial services companies. Also, remember that Datadog is growing, and we’re looking for people to join our teams around the world. Learn more about open roles—and #DatadogLife—on our Careers page.