Zoosk’s diverse employees enrich both our professional environment and the work we do. Our various backgrounds, cultures, and points of view are a large part of what defines our organization.
Zoosk is committed to giving back to our communities both personally and financially. We regularly donate our time at Glide Memorial, at local arts groups and animal shelters, and are always looking for new ways to contribute.
At Zoosk, we're a team of passionate individuals that value collaboration, respect, innovation, and achievement. Our employees love a challenge, are always looking for the next big thing, and enjoy having fun together.
Eric Barnett is currently Interim CEO. Since joining in 2010, Eric has held various positions including General Counsel and SVP of Strategy and Advertising. Prior to joining Zoosk, Eric was Assistant General Counsel for M&A and Corporate Securities at Sun Microsystems. Eric also practiced law as a corporate and securities attorney for nearly seven years at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati and Baker & Hostetler, focusing on advising technology companies with respect to venture capital funding, public securities offerings, corporate governance, intellectual property strategy, and mergers and acquisitions. Eric holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University and an M.S. in Chemical Engineering from Stanford University, and worked as an engineer at Motorola before pursuing a legal career. He received a J.D. from Stanford Law School. Eric is an avid sports fan, golfer, and reader.
Mike Riccio is the Senior Vice President of Engineering at Zoosk. Prior to joining Zoosk, Mike served as the Vice President of Engineering and Architecture at the global interactive entertainment company Electronic Arts (EA). During his time at EA, Mike helped spearhead a radical shift in how EA’s customers accessed video games—the evolution from packaged goods to an always-on, cross-platform, social system. Before his time at EA, Mike provided architecture vision and leadership to various enterprises and co-founded Pogo.com, the top-ranked online casual game destination worldwide that was later acquired by EA. He has a MS in Information Networking and a BS in Applied Math and Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon University. Outside the office, Mike likes to tinker with home automation, play poker, and do all things Disney with his family.
Behzad is the Senior Vice President of Product at Zoosk where he is responsible for product development across all platforms. Between 2011 and 2014, he led product development for Zoosk's web property and later all client app properties. Before joining Zoosk, Behzad founded Crowdmug, a real time location awareness service that allowed on demand crowdsourcing of images and videos. Prior to that Behzad led product management for various technology startups. Behzad graduated a McNair Scholar from San Diego State University earning a degree in Aerospace Engineering.
Daniel Mori is the Vice President of Marketing at Zoosk. Before joining Zoosk in 2013, Daniel directed Customer Acquisition for the North American arm of Buongiorno, an NTT Docomo company that develops mobile applications and games: he also built and directed the company’s affiliate program. Prior to that, he worked for Dada, an Italian corporation and global leader in the mobile entertainment space: while there, he managed the company’s ad network and led the mobile media buying team. Daniel holds a PhD in History from the University of Florence (Italy): when he was a graduate student, he chose tech over history after working remote gigs at Google and Tripadvisor. Daniel is an avid traveler, an aviation enthusiast, and a baseball fan who can be spotted in minor league baseball parks around the country.
Jason Donadio is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) at Zoosk and is responsible for overseeing Accounting, FP&A, and IT. Prior to joining Zoosk as the Corporate Controller, Jason held various accounting and reporting roles at Netflix where he most recently led Accounting Operations. He also held reporting and technical accounting roles at Symantec and started his career at KPMG in the audit department. He holds an MBA in accounting from California State University Hayward. Jason is an avid sports fan and enjoys wakeboarding, snowboarding, and spending time with his family.
Sejal is the Vice President of User Operations at Zoosk where she is responsible for driving customer success and satisfaction, as well as optimizing vendor operations. Since joining Zoosk in 2012, Sejal has helped grow and develop our world class customer success team and has led several initiatives to improve the overall customer experience and achieve operational effectiveness. Before joining Zoosk, Sejal led customer success organizations at GE, Discover, Sears, and Xerox. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Sejal is originally from Chicago, and her favorite thing to do now that she is lucky enough to live in the Bay Area is spend time outdoors with her two sons.
Deepak Kamra has been with Canaan Partners for over 20 years and focuses on investments in digital media and software. He led Canaan’s investments in DoubleClick, Match.com, Acme Packet (acquired by Oracle), SuccessFactors (acquired by SAP), and Bharat Matrimony. Before joining Canaan, Deepak was on the startup team at Aspect Communications, which he helped lead to a successful IPO in 1990. Prior to Aspect, Deepak held strategic roles at ROLM Corp. and TRW Datacomm International. Deepak received a B.A. from Carleton University and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He served on the board of the National Venture Capital Association from 2008 to 2012 and was included on the Forbes Midas List in 2008 and 2009. In his spare time, he is involved in several microfinance initiatives to spur economic growth in developing nations.
Jeff Epstein, an Operating Partner in Bessemer’s Menlo Park office and the former CFO of Oracle and DoubleClick, works with Bessemer portfolio company CFOs and CEOs to share and implement best practices. He leads the Bessemer Venture Partners CFO Advisory Board, where over 50 BVP portfolio company CFOs meet in person and online to help each other learn and improve their effectiveness and performance. He specializes in marketplaces, B2B cloud software and advertising technology companies. He teaches the Lean Launchpad class at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Engineering with Steve Blank. He serves on the Boards of Directors and Audit Committees of Kaiser Permanente, The Priceline Group, Shutterstock, Global Eagle Entertainment, and several private companies. He is the former Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Oracle, one of the world’s largest and most profitable technology companies, with a market value of over $150 billion. Prior to joining Oracle, Jeff served as Chief Financial Officer of several public and private companies, including DoubleClick (sold to Google), King World Productions (sold to CBS), and Nielsen’s Media Measurement and Information Group. Earlier in his career, he was an investment banker at The First Boston Corporation. He holds an MBA from the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar, and a BA from Yale College, where he graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa.
Kristina Shen joined Bessemer in 2013 and is a partner in the San Francisco, CA office who focuses on investments in cloud computing, machine learning, mobile, and consumer internet sectors. Kristina currently serves on the boards of Doubledutch, Glint, Retail Solutions, and Zoosk and serves as a board observer on Gainsight, RainforestQA, ServiceTitan, and Vidyard. She is also involved with investments in Adaptive Insights, Instructure, and Twilio. Kristina co-authors Bessemer’s State of the Cloud 2016 and 2017 and Bessemer 10 Laws of Cloud, which captures the top trends among leading public and private cloud computing and enterprise mobile companies. Kristina also produces Bessemer’s Cloud Index, which tracks the top public cloud computing companies, and is used by major media outlets, analysts and thought leaders to understand the health of the sector. An expert in the field, Kristina’s contributions to Bessemer and the startup ecosystem earned her a slot in Forbe's 30 under 30: Venture Capital in 2016 and Business Insider’s 2014 “30 and Under” list of Rising Stars who find Hot Startup Deals in Silicon Valley. Before joining Bessemer, Kristina worked in the finance world as an investor at JMI Equity, and investment banker at both Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse. Her experience includes working on the IPOs of Palo Alto Networks, Zynga, Fusion-io, and Infoblox, as well as the sale of Q1 Labs to IBM and Goldman Sachs’ investment in Kno, Inc. Kristina graduated with a B.A. in Operations Research and Management Science from UC Berkeley.
Mike Hodges brings many decades of experience as an engineer, manager, CEO, and board member across a multi-discipline experience set including computer hardware, software, optics, and instrumentation. A long time Silicon Valley resident, he was raised in Palo Alto and attended UC Berkeley. Mike has participated in all phases of Silicon Valley start-up life including stints in design engineering, project management, general management, marketing, manufacturing, and finance. Mike migrated into general management roles initially in a public company, Spectra-Physics, followed by a dozen start-ups over 25 years where he served as CEO or CEO Coach.
The Honorable Aida Álvarez has been an award-winning journalist, a successful investment banker, and a member of President Clinton’s Cabinet. She currently serves on the boards of Zoosk, Wal-Mart, Union Bank, and Progress Financial Corporation. She chairs the Latino Community Foundation, serves on the Board of the Smithsonian Museum of American Art in Washington, DC., and is a Trustee Emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Appointed by President Clinton to head the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), Administrator Alvarez was the first Hispanic woman to serve in a President’s Cabinet. Prior to her federal service, Alvarez was a Vice President in Public Finance at The First Boston Corporation and Bear Stearns. She was also Vice President for Public Affairs at the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation. Alvarez started out with a career in journalism. She won a Front Page award for journalistic excellence while at the New York Post. She also earned an Emmy nomination and an Associated Press award for journalistic excellence while at Channel Five, the Ten O’Clock News, for her series on the war in El Salvador entitled, “The Morazan Diaries.” A Harvard graduate, Alvarez also holds honorary doctorates from Bethany College, Iona College, Mercy College and the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico. Alvarez was elected to serve on the Harvard Board of Overseers.
Shayan Zadeh is Co-founder of Zoosk, one of the world’s largest online dating platforms. He founded Zoosk with Alex Mehr in 2007. Prior to founding Zoosk, Shayan was a program manager and software engineer for Microsoft. Shayan received a Master of Science in Computer Science from University of Maryland, and a Master in Business Administration from University of Washington. While completing his undergraduate degree in computer science at Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Shayan met co-founder Alex Mehr. Shayan and Alex initially intended to pursue careers in academia, but ultimately decided to become entrepreneurs while they were roommates at the University of Maryland. In addition to running Zoosk, Shayan is an angel investor and advisor to startup companies including PaperKarma (acquired by reputation.com), Identified (acquired by Workday) and AppComputing. In his free time, Shayan enjoys bicycling, tennis, and playing with his dog, Ivy.
Alex Mehr is Co-founder of Zoosk, one of the world's largest online dating platforms. While attending the MBA program at the University of California, Berkeley, Alex founded Zoosk in 2007 alongside Shayan Zadeh. Alex received a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran. Alex previously worked as a research scientist for NASA through a consulting firm and collaborated on manned and unmanned space exploration projects. In his spare time, Alex is a motorcycle enthusiast and enjoys hiking with his dog Lexi, a Rottweiler mix.