12 Heads of Remote To Follow For Advice

Image credit: British Library/Flick. Just so you know, some of the links in this article are affiliate links that may provide Buildremote with a small commission at no cost to you.

As far I can tell, there was only one “Head of Remote” in the world before 2020 (when the entire world went remote, as we know).

That would be Darren Murph of Gitlab, the original Head of Remote.

You could argue that anyone operating a fully remote small business or heading up HR or culture at a larger company would be the de-facto Head of Remote, but none of them actually held the actual title. It’s really just since 2019 or 2020 that companies started hiring for the dedicated position.

As leaders at major companies get their heads around having thousands of remote employees, it’s likely the number of Head of Remote positions will grow exponentially. This post is for you–people who will fill the positions coming in 2022 and beyond.

Below, you’ll find a quick overview of the position, followed by a list of current Heads of Remote to follow for advice, and finally where to find these remote jobs online.

What is a Head of Remote anyway?

As defined by Gitlabs

Since the purpose of this article is to highlight some great Heads of Remote to follow (and since there are already great resources about the position), I’m going to use Gitlabs’ fantastic resource to set the stage. This is how Darren Murphy summarizes his duties in the role:

“A Head of Remote exists to achieve the following.

  1. Audit and pressure test all existing workflows, policies, and cultural underpinnings to ensure that they are adapted for remote-first
  2. Serve as a trusted advisor and steerer to existing workstream leads, ensuring that their work is inclusive of geographies and time zones and accelerates the mission of all work being achievable regardless of one’s physical location
  3. Advise existing executives on proven remote work practices and lead a systematic unlearning process to replace old habits (e.g. defaulting to a meeting, forgoing documentation, working in silos vs. transparently, etc.) with more progressive ones
  4. Evolve thinking and operations to suit the modern-day reality of workplace expectations
  5. Deconstruct colocated office norms and rebuild workflows/culture to suit a vastly more opportunistic virtual work environment”

As defined by T3 Advisors

In a report about remote work Trends, T3 Advisors outlined the skills and work experience required to perform the role well:

If you’d like to see more Head of Remote resources, visit this site.

Heads of Remote: Who To Follow

<strong>Darren Murph</strong><br><br><em>Title: </em>Head of Remote<br><em>Started:</em> 2019<br><em>Company</em>: Gitlab<br><br>Darren is the first Head of Remote ever! He works for Gitlab, a fully remote company with 1,000+ employees.
Darren Murph

Title: Head of Remote
Started: 2019
Company: Gitlab

Darren is the first Head of Remote ever! He works for Gitlab, a fully remote company with 1,000+ employees.

Annie Dean

Title: Director of Remote Work
Started: 2020
Company: Meta (Facebook)

Annie is the Meta’s first hire in this new role. She comes with a deep resume as a founder of a tech company that got acquired as well as a Vice President of Deloitte where she helped Fortune 500 companies adapt to work during COVID.

Read more about Meta’s hiring of Annie.

<strong>Vera Lakmaker</strong><br><br><em>Title: </em>Head of Remote<br><em>Started:</em> 2020<br><em>Company</em>: Gameye<br><br>Vera is the Head of Remote for Gameye, fully remote team of ten full-time employees.
Vera Lakmaker

Title: Head of Remote
Started: 2020
Company: Gameye

Vera is the Head of Remote for Gameye, fully remote team of ten full-time employees.

<strong>Shannon Hard</strong>y<br><em>Title: </em>Vice President, Flex Work<br><em>Started:</em> 2021<br><em>Company</em>: LinkedIn<br><br>LinkedIn created this role for Shannon in 2021 to help LinkedIn's workforce navigate the changing nature of work, particularly through remote and hybrid settings.
Shannon Hardy
Title: Vice President, Flex Work
Started: 2021
Company: LinkedIn

LinkedIn created this role for Shannon in 2021 to help LinkedIn’s workforce navigate the changing nature of work, particularly through remote and hybrid settings.

Chase Warrington

Title: Head of Remote
Started: 2021
Company: Doist

Chase is the Head of Remote for Doist, a remote-first, asynchronous company with 100+ employees spread across more than 30 countries. Chase is also the host of the About Abroad podcast.

Rhys Black

Title: Head of Remote
Started: 2021
Company: Oyster

Rhys is the Head of Remote for Oyster, a remote-first company with employees in more than 30 countries. Oyster helps other companies deliver HR and payroll services to their globally distributed teams. Rhys was the founder of Delocate, which was acquired by Oyster in 2021 bringing Rhys onboard.

<strong>Stephanie Lee</strong><br><br><em>Title:</em> Remote Lead<br><em>Started:</em> 2021<br><em>Company</em>: Cargo.one<br><br>Stephanie is the Remote Lead for Cargo.one, a remote cargo booking platform company with employees in 15+ countries (and growing quickly). Stephanie previously worked at Buffer, one of the preeminent remote companies.
Stephanie Lee

Title: Remote Lead
Started: 2021
Company: Cargo.one

Stephanie is the Remote Lead for Cargo.one, a remote cargo booking platform company with employees in 15+ countries (and growing quickly). Stephanie previously worked at Buffer, one of the preeminent remote companies.

<strong>Angela Mansim</strong><br><br><em>Title:</em> Head of Remote<br><em>Started:</em> 2021<br><em>Company</em>: Officeless<br><br>Angela may be the only person to hold the Head of Remote position at multiple companies. Currently, she is the Head of Remote for Officeless, a company with 16 employees spread around the world.
Angela Mansim

Title: Head of Remote
Started: 2021
Company: Officeless

Angela may be the only person to hold the Head of Remote position at multiple companies. Currently, she is the Head of Remote for Officeless, a company with 16 employees spread around the world.

Terry Tran

Title: Head of Virtual First
Started: 2021
Company: Dropbox

In late 2020, Dropbox declared it would be a “virtual-first company.” Six months after that, they hired Terry to take as the head of the new operating model.

Tracy Hawkins

Title: VP of Work Transformation
Started: 2021
Company: Twitter

Since 2016, Tracy was the Head and then VP of Real Estate, Workplace, and Remote Experience for Twitter. In late 2021, her role changed to VP of Work Transformation. Listen to Tracy’s thoughts on the future of the physical office here.

Former Heads of Remote

This brand new role will quickly evolve in the coming years. In our research, we found some people who had previously been Heads of Remote but have since changed roles. You may be able to learn as much or more from these people, so we kept them on the list.

<strong>Jonathan Killeen</strong><br><br><em>Current Title:</em> Head of Environment<br><em>Started:</em> 2021<br><em>Company</em>: Notion<br><br><em>Former Title: </em>Head of Remote<br><em>Started:</em> 2021<br><em>Company</em>: Hopin<br><br>Jonathan was previously the Head of Remote for Hopin, a distributed software company. Now, Jonathan is the Head of Environment for Notion, a software-company that is prioritizing its work in the office. Jonathan is now in charge of in-person culture and operations as opposed to remote operations.
Jonathan Killeen

Current Title: Head of Environment
Started: 2021
Company: Notion

Former Title: Head of Remote
Started: 2021
Company: Hopin

Jonathan was previously the Head of Remote for Hopin, a distributed software company. Now, Jonathan is the Head of Environment for Notion, a software-company that is prioritizing its work in the office. Jonathan is now in charge of in-person culture and operations as opposed to remote operations.

Lisa Jiang

Current Title: Co-Founder
Started: 2021
Company: Built For Teachers

*Former Title: Head of Remote Learning
Started: 2020
Company: Facebook

Lisa was in her role at Facebook from Aug 2020 to Nov 2021 where she helped lead the Facebook team into a remote work experience. In Nov 2021, she left Facebook to start her own company, Built for Teachers.

Head of Remote Work Jobs

Looking for flexible, remote leadership positions? I always recommend Flexjobs.

There are bigger job boards out there, but FlexJobs is the leading one for remote, part-time, freelance, and otherwise flexible job listings.

Look at the remote positions available now.

About the author

Add comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: