Slack is losing its second-most important executive in the run-up to its expected IPO this year

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April UnderwoodSlack

  • Slack's chief product officer April Underwood announced Thursday that she'll be leaving the $7.1 billion startup to focus on #Angels, an organization she co-founded that focuses on investing in female founders.
  • Underwood is widely considered the strong right hand to Slack CEO and cofounder Stewart Butterfield - she's in charge of much of Slack's strategy and product decisions.
  • Underwood will be replaced by Tamar Yehoshua, who previously led the search business at Google.
  • Slack is expected to IPO later this year.

On Thursday, Slack Chief Product Officer April Underwood announced she will be leaving Slack to take a full-time role in venture capital investing.

Over the course of her 4 years with the company, Underwood played a vital role inmaking Slack's office messaging app as popular as it is today. She's widely considered to be the second-in-command to CEO and cofounder Stewart Butterfield, as her remit included much of Slack's strategy and product decisions.

After leaving Slack, she'll take a full-time role with #Angels, an organization she co-founded in 2015, that focuses on investing in female-founded companies. Tamar Yehoshua, a vice president at Google who has previously led the Search team, will replace Underwood as chief product officer.

This all comes during the walk-up to Slack's expected IPO, which could be one of the biggest public-market debuts of the year. The company was last valued at $7.13 billion after a $427 million funding round in August 2018.

"At Slack, I've worked closely with brilliant founders to build a product that is transforming how millions of people get their work done every day," Underwood wrote in a Medium blog post announcing her move. "Looking back, I realize: I learned how to work, then I worked hard, and eventually I got the chance to help shape how millions of other people work as a product leader and executive here at Slack."

During her four years at Slack, Underwood led the launch of the Slack Platform, built its enterprise product, started a Slack Fund that backs 49 startups and assembled its product team - all helping it stand up to the competitive threat of Microsoft and its Teams product. Prior to Slack, Underwood had worked at Twitter and Google.

"Beyond her accomplishments in building out the product and expanding the business, April has been an exceptional leader at this company," Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield wrote in a blog post. "She has expanded and steered her team through a time of hypergrowth, and honed a high-performance-but-deeply-human culture of craftsmanship and relentless customer focus."

Read more: A former Googler and Twitter executive reveals how she rose through the ranks and landed one of the most important jobs at Silicon Valley's hottest startup, Slack

For its part, #Angel has invested in over 100 founders and their companies.

"Investing, which started as a side hustle for me and my #Angels partners, has emerged as the pursuit too inspiring and energizing to be relegated to my spare time," Underwood wrote.

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