Kathryn Friedrich, EVP, GM of Operations at Conde Nast Entertainment

Kathryn Friedrich shared this recommendation for Rajiv on November 25, 2019 via LinkedIn:

I started at Thrive Global at the same time as Rajiv. We were both coming from large prestigious companies and beginning the “start up journey” together. Rajiv was an amazing asset and a partner on the leadership team. As CTO and CMO we were not only responsible for building the business, but also the culture.

Rajiv built a strong and loyal team that embraced the challenges of getting the infrastructure of the company built from the ground up. He worked tirelessly to make sure we launched on time and with accurate assurances that we could handle traffic, volume and anything else that was thrown at us. His leadership skills to guide the team during uncertainty and ambiguity were second to none. He cared about the work and the team equally and knew when to be more hands on, but also knew when the hands off approach could yield better results. He was both a leader and a student for everyone on the team.

As CTO, Rajiv drove overall business strategy. His contributions did not stop with our product and technology. He actively participated in business planning and strategic conversations about growth, and was thoughtful in his approach to building for the future. He secured many partnership conversations and led active brainstorming around AI that could accelerate our trajectory.

I would easily recommend Rajiv for any role he intends to pursue in the future and I hope I get a chance to work with him again.

As Chief Marketing & Revenue Officer at Thrive Global, Kathryn worked with Rajiv. Kathryn is now EVP, GM of Operations at Conde Nast Entertainment. Previously, she served as Global Head of Content Monetization at YouTube and was a Google employee for nearly 9 years.

Jason Patterson, Software Engineer at Instagram at Facebook

Jason Patterson shared this recommendation for Rajiv on November 25, 2019 via LinkedIn:

I worked with Rajiv as Director of Mobile Technology at The Wall Street Journal, and later as Distinguished Engineer, during a transformation of the iPhone app for The Wall Street Journal.

As a manager, I observed Rajiv’s talent for putting together a team of people to execute on a common mission. He was able to rally whole departments from disparate areas of the enterprise (from Technology, to the Newsroom, to Customer Membership) with a focus on the big picture.

As an engineer, I was given the flexibility to design and develop impactful solutions. By shifting our product and technology initiatives to focus on OKRs (objectives and key results), he was able to let teams come up with the solutions that delivered on company goals, instead of being prescriptive with top-down solutions.

In addition to focusing on OKRs as a success metric, he was also able to help fight to grow teams that were under-resourced, and transformed the WSJ delivery culture from a mindset of big-bang releases to a new normal of constant incremental improvement. This allowed the business to reap benefits earlier. The fruits of these efforts eventually yielded a Webby award for best mobile news app.

As Distinguished Software Engineer and Director of Mobile Engineering at The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones, Jason worked with Rajiv. Jason is now a software engineer at Instagram/Facebook.

Katharine Bailey, SVP, Product at The Wall Street Journal

Katharine Bailey shared this recommendation for Rajiv on November 21, 2019. This is the full version of what she wrote and also shared via LinkedIn:

I worked for Rajiv for two years, from 2017 to 2019 at The Wall Street Journal, where he held the role of CTO and CPO.

Before he arrived, I held a position of leading digital product, and we had been going through a tough period of transition.  I had gotten to the point within product where I wanted a new and exciting challenge, and in my desire to learn, I was interviewing for a new opportunity.  I was offered a plum opportunity, with a higher title and a broader scope. I was very close to taking it — and then I got to know Rajiv. Rajiv is unlike any other leader I have worked for….

He treated me like an equal, and reminded me frequently of how much he was also learning from me.  He used to tell me that he could have ended up working for me just as easily as me for him.  He would go out of his way to ask about product and my process, and with every probing question I felt he made me a bit better at my craft.  He would suggest countless books and way of thinking, and initiated interesting dialogues with the team around themes like empathy in product development, and the selflessness in leadership. He led by example in that we are all students in our careers and to stop learning is to stagnate – the worst possible fate. He relished in vigorous debate, giving us the gift of critical thinking when it came to coming up with the best solution for the problem at hand, whether it be the right authoring tool approach for our newsroom; how to handle successful authentication and access, or how to best handle personalization in our iOS app.

Inevitably those navigating the trio: the tough terrain of product, engineering and design, tend to favor one above the others, leading to a rather lopsided org from a focus and process perspective.  Rajiv conceded that engineering was his background, but his curiosity for design and product had him engaged and collaborating, and amazingly all three legs of the stool were on equal footing. Together we drafted a vision for what Product, Design and Engineering should look like as a single organization, replete with values, roadmaps, and process drill-downs. What was even better was we socialized it and brought it into practice.  He also brought solid talent into the team, recruiting from Apple, NY Times and Scripps, serving as a strong indication to all of us that Rajiv is someone people follow.

Product had so long worked through KPIs, but they never got the traction they deserved. Enter OKRs, a critical underpinning to our PDE story.  Rajiv introduced them to me, and really brought them to life. It was a way to tell a story, backed with a mission and attach quantifiable results.  One of the most wonderful things about Rajiv is he actually let me run with the idea. He allowed it to be mine, where others might have been slightly more territorial.  He supported me and gave me air cover as I championed them tirelessly across the organization.  Rajiv is an incredible boss. Remarkably because of our work, OKRs were adopted company-wide at Dow Jones across the B2C and B2B businesses. And this was not without tough times, and myriad questions about them.  Rajiv encouraged flexibility around how we presented them, and helped me understand the value of really “understanding the API” of the person across from you. He would always tell me that you must understand your audience when making any argument.  He countless times helped me do just that, which is a great part of the reason we had so much success in his tenure here. What Rajiv was really doing with OKRs was trying to tie all of our wonderful product work back to the bottom line, and with that giving it greater more far-reaching relevance.

Rajiv also has a remarkable ability to galvanize a team, to instill a sense of pride in their work. I watched as he regularly would check in with team members to hear about their projects, and he would encourage them to publish post about their work for external review. One woman who was quite shy felt some of that encouragement and actually authored a medium post about how OKRs work with engineers in the mobile team. This was all with Rajiv’s cheerleading all the way — it was magical to watch her gain such a sense of confidence.  He also encouraged us to publish a newsletter about all of work great product development work we were doing for WSJ. The final product was slick, well-written and broadly consumed. It really helped raise the profile of our team, well beyond order takers and into the zone of being innovators.

Lastly, Rajiv is one of the most fun and kind people I have ever worked with. He is always respectful, and thoughtful — caring about his employees, and passionate about their bringing their full selves to work. In this way he models the kind of environment he wants to create and shape.  Disagreements between people would fall away with Rajiv, and he would refocus us on the job to be done, and on the importance of mutual respect.

I hope I would work with Rajiv again, and if you get the chance to work with him…jump at it.

As Senior Vice President of Product at The Wall Street Journal, Katharine reported to Rajiv.

Jordan Sudy, VP, Goldman Sachs

Jordan Sudy shared this recommendation for Rajiv on November 20, 2019 via LinkedIn:

I’ve had the honor of working under Rajiv at both the NYT and the WSJ. His talent and expertise as both a technology and product leader is, relative to my experience, and I’m sure to the great majority of others, extraordinarily rare. Even more rare is the fact that his talent is contagious— or as he would put it— ‘his API’ so well organized, accessible and able that those of us lucky enough to be plugged into it soon find that we’re connect to a source which inexplicably, almost magically, allows us to get our jobs done par excellence— while at the same time, we somehow have fun— and as a result of both, do we become better at our jobs and kinder in dealing with our colleagues and customers than we ever thought possible.

So clearly: I really do look back at the time spent reporting to Rajiv with awe. Simply put, Rajiv is a source of good for both people and for the products that they work together to build. And, while in the top level roles he occupies, this should of course be the rule rather than the exception, any professional knows this unfortunately not to be the case.

So…fortunately for myself and all my colleagues at the NYT and WSJ who either worked directly for Rajiv, or within the systems he worked tirelessly to stand up, we can say we got to work under exceptional circumstances, and as a result got to turn out, literally, speaking for myself and others, career making products.

For proof of this, one need look no farther than the award winning products that the most trusted names in media and journalism were able to ship during the time Rajiv was present. It is no coincidence. It was Rajiv driving.

Therefore I do not hesitate to proudly say: any company who wants to do best for their products, people and customers, need look no farther than Rajiv Pant, a true leader and force for good: exceptionally so.

As Vice President of Product for Mobile at The Wall Street Journal, Jordan reported in to Rajiv. Jordan is now a Vice President at Goldman Sachs.

Roben Kleene, Former iOS Engineering Manager at The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones

Roben Kleene shared this recommendation for Rajiv on November 17, 2019 via LinkedIn:

Rajiv has a rare gift for leadership that energizes an organization. The formula is connecting with teams, understanding their challenges, and providing just the right balance of space and support to help them succeed. That he does it all with warmth and good humor is a generous bonus.

I worked with Rajiv as an iOS engineering manager at The Wall Street Journal, and I was impressed by how available he made himself to our teams. His advice and support were invaluable in navigating our teams challenges. There was never any question that Rajiv had our backs, and that was a constant source of motivation. He made it clear that our work mattered, and that our path to success wouldn’t be sidetracked.

I can wholeheartedly recommend Rajiv’s leadership for any organization.

As iOS Engineering Manager and Lead iOS Engineer at The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones, Roben worked with Rajiv. Roben is now founder of a mobile technology startup.

Che Douglas, VP of Design at Booking.com

Che Douglas shared this recommendation for Rajiv on November 17, 2019 via LinkedIn:

Rajiv is a professional, dedicated, smart and inspiring leader — his actions speak louder than his words. Something that Rajiv said to me shortly after we met in 2016 showcase this more than anything else. He said “Win people over without defeating others.” At first, I liked the sentiment of his quote, but didn’t realize at that time what an impact it would have on me and The Wall Street Journal’s culture.

I worked with Rajiv at The Wall Street Journal and Newscorp for two years, between 2017 and 2019, where he held the position of Chief Technology Officer & Chief Product Officer at the WSJ and later on Deputy CTO at Newscorp.

I saw him live out this value every day — I saw how this repeatedly resolved conflicts and broke down silos. This collaborative and trusted environment Rajiv grew, quickly became a work-place that everyone felt welcome in and produced their very best work. Under his leadership we built the first fused Product, Design and Engineering department at the WSJ.

We worked with some incredibly talented people during this time, were able to win a Webby award for the best news app and I think this was his most impressive feat — not the work itself because that involved many many skilled people — but the fact that Rajiv brought all those people together with a common purpose — and was able to rally the entire company and executive team to make something really great.

It is empowering to work for someone that you know is deeply interested in your craft, the value it brings and what you can contribute. Rajiv was willing to push and promote design, design thinking and what it means to be customer first not only internally but to the world at large.

If you have the chance to work with or for him, take it.

As Senior Vice President of Design at The Wall Street Journal, Che reported to Rajiv. Che is now Vice President of Design at Booking.com.

Luke Vnenchak, VP of Engineering at BuzzFeed

Luke Vnenchak shared this recommendation for Rajiv on August 26, 2016 via LinkedIn:

One thing that stood out in working with Rajiv was his ability to mentor and coach people at all levels. He does not overlook the people side of things and took great care in developing the careers of those working for him. He was very accessible to the entire technology org and genuinely interested in what was working well on my team and others so that he could look to apply those things elsewhere rather than blindly dictating a path forward.

As Executive Director of Technology, Content Management at The New York Times, Luke reported to Rajiv.

Denise Warren, Executive Vice President, The New York Times

Denise Warren shared this recommendation for Rajiv on Aug 5, 2016 via LinkedIn:

It is with strong conviction that I recommend Rajiv Pant. During our work together over four years at the New York Times, his exemplary leadership skills directly contributed to the success of dozens of major initiatives. Rajiv and the teams he built played critical roles in the acclaimed NYTimes mobile apps, the industry leading digital subscriptions implementation and numerous innovative data-driven journalism projects. His expertise in product development, software engineering and technology operations brought our organization to the next level. He consistently displayed strong leadership and deep technical expertise. Rajiv created a culture of collaboration, high performance and productivity. When I joined Tribune Publishing as President of Digital and CEO of East Coast Publishing, I immediately knew I wanted to bring Rajiv on to lead product management, user experience design, and engineering. Not only is he an accomplished product development leader, he is a pleasure to work with on a personal level. He is consistently proven himself to be reliable, collaborative and open minded. His approachable attitude and kindness towards coworkers made him loved by the teams reporting to him as well as his stakeholders. I know many colleagues who have followed him from job to job as he brings out the best in those working with him – creating successes for all. These traits have made Rajiv well respected and a highly sought after CTO in the tech and media industries.

As Executive Vice President at The New York Times and then as President of Digital & CEO of East Coast Businesses at Tribune Publishing, Denise managed Rajiv.

Malu Menezes, Executive Director of Technology, The New York Times

Malu Menezes shared this recommendation for Rajiv on June 24, 2016 via LinkedIn:

I worked with Rajiv at the New York Times while he was VP of Engineering and then CTO.
I was really impressed with his accomplishments during this period – brought with him key executives and placed them in the right positions to modernize the NYTimes Technology organization faster than I ever thought possible. I am incredibly proud of the company the New York Times has become and honored to have witnessed first hand this transformation. I cannot recommend Rajiv enough as a Technology Executive.

As Executive Director of Technology at The New York Times, Malu reported to Rajiv.

Joe Adamo, VP, Digital Technology at Tribune Publishing Company

Joe Adamo shared this recommendation for Rajiv on June 23, 2016 via LinkedIn:

I was fortunate enough to work with Rajiv for the past year.

He’s a highly intelligent individual, an inspiring leader, and a brilliant technologist. He’s able to understand and provide recommendations on correcting complex technical & organizational issues quickly.

He was a great addition to the team, and it was a pleasure working with him.

As VP, Digital Technology at Tribune Publishing Company, Joe reported to Rajiv.