Wes helps good people and products get the recognition they deserve.
As a marketer and operator, she brings 10+ years of in-house experience at Fortune 500 brands and venture-funded startups. She specializes in unconventional marketing for consumer brands who challenge the status quo. Her clients include brands like Poo~Pourri, supernatural.com, Suzy Batiz, Tandem Diabetes, Mailchimp, Ghirardelli, and more.
Previously, Wes was the co-creator and founding Executive Director of Seth Godin's altMBA. Under her leadership, the altMBA grew from zero to 550 cities in 45 countries in three years of high-growth. She designed the altMBA's beloved coaching system, grew the global community, oversaw acquisition/retention channels, and built a team of 40 people to support rapid scaling. Before the altMBA, she was Special Projects Lead for Seth Godin HQ, where she produced bestselling Udemy courses, hackathon days, the 7-day Your Turn Challenge, and the bestselling Leadership Workshop.
Prior to this, Wes led digital marketing and brand management at Flite (acquired by Snapchat), Bare Escentuals, L’Oreal, and Gap Inc. Her work has been published in Inc, Fast Company, and Entrepreneur, and she has lectured at MBA programs at Berkeley and Harvard.
In 2017, Wes was selected for the Singularity University Global Solutions Program fellowship on climate change, held at NASA Ames and sponsored by Google. She serves as a mentor for Backstage Capital and WeWork Labs. Wes received her B.S. in Business Administration from the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley.
Talks and Interviews
Accidental Creative [podcast] - Make maps, don't just follow them
Future Tech [podcast] - Storytelling tips for technical founders
The Modern Manager [podcast] - How to be a culture change agent
ActiveCampaign [podcast] - How to build high-performing teams
10K Hours [podcast] - Impact with Wes Kao
The People Stack [YouTube] - How to Utilize Marketing Tactics to Upgrade Your Career
Mavericks Unlimited [podcast] - Influencing And Persuading For Scrappy Changemakers
Entrepreneur: How to Deliver Bad News When It's Not Your Fault
Thrive Global: Be your own mentor
MaRS Discovery District: Why digital communities fail
Entrepreneur: 3 Reasons You Need to Improve Your Writing
Lessons Learned is an invite-only storytelling event for women leaders. It's an intimate, live event where speakers share 5 minute stories about hard-earned career advice.
Participants and speakers include women from organizations like Apple, Gap Inc, Bank of America, Sharethrough, Deutsche Bank, eBay, 23andMe, Aspire Public Schools, New York City Ballet, Percolate, Swarovski, Kickstarter, and Del Monte.
You can find more here.
Want to nerd out?
Besides marketing, here are some other topics I care about:
Developing a "spiky" point of view
How to hire, train, and grow change agents
Plants (I have a mild obsession with propagating plants in my living room.)
Intersectional feminism, women of color, and unconscious bias
Meeting fellow introverts and low-ego people who want to build great things