Chief Operating Officer

Desmos

Sector:

Education, Technology / Telecom

Function:

Operations, General Management / Strategic Planning, Human Capital / Human Resources, Finance / Accounting, Fundraising / Business Development

Location:

Flexible

About the Organization

Desmos is on a mission to build a world where every student learns math and loves learning math, where a student's access to the power and beauty of math doesn't depend on their place of birth, race, ethnicity, gender, or any other aspect of their identity. To achieve its mission, and to support the development of a more equitable math education system and tech industry, Desmos believes that we all must acknowledge past and present injustices in our communities and take intentional action to make change. To that end, Desmos has created a set of Equity Principles that will serve to guide the organization as it grows.

Desmos' free suite of math software tools, including the renowned Desmos Graphing Calculator and Scientific Calculator, are used annually by over 50 million teachers and students around the world. These tools power core math curricula for many of the world's largest publishers, and the calculators are built into the majority of U.S. state-level assessments and digital SAT and ACT college entrance exams. Desmos is also partnered with the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, the International Baccalaureate MYP, and NWEA (view the full list of assessments here).

Desmos' cutting-edge technology also powers a host of free digital classroom activities, thoughtfully designed by teachers for teachers to support and celebrate the different ways students come to know mathematics. These activities are guided by Desmos' pedagogical philosophy and open up a world of possibilities for students to explore concepts more deeply, collaborate with their peers on problem-solving, and apply knowledge creatively as mathematicians.

In 2020, Desmos launched its core middle school math program, which pairs the open-source U.S. middle school curriculum from Illustrative Mathematics and Open Up Resources with Desmos' powerful technology, humanizing pedagogy, and intuitive design. This curriculum has received resoundingly positive reviews from schools, teachers, and students, and Desmos is working with an incredible cohort of schools and districts to implement and further improve this program over the years to come. In addition, Desmos will soon be launching a high school math program.

For more information about Desmos, please visit their website.

About the Position

Desmos is poised for rapid growth and impact. This year alone, the company saw an 8x increase in paid usage of its middle school math program to more than 50,000 students—all without having a conventional marketing and sales team.

Building and strengthening internal operations and capacity is critical for Desmos' ability to deliver on its ambitious revenue and impact goals. Desmos is seeking its first Chief Operating Officer (COO) to lead day-to-day operations of the company, strengthen team-building and cross-team collaboration, and directly oversee HR/talent, financial operations, and business planning. The COO will provide ongoing thought partnership and support for the expansion of Desmos' product and service offerings by ensuring Desmos is both right-sized in the moment, and efficiently optimized and resourced to meet future market demands and growth goals. The COO will report directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and will serve on the leadership team as a key partner to a range of critical internal and external stakeholders.

Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

Cross-functional Leadership

  • HR & Talent: Oversee and evolve Desmos' HR and Talent functions, in close partnership with Desmos' Equity Steering Committee, to ensure all HR and Talent processes and practices (e.g., recruitment and selection, on-boarding and performance management, professional development, compensation, etc.) across the organization are equitable and inclusive, and laser-focused on attracting and retaining the most diverse and most qualified talent possible.
  • Finance: Lead financial operations and advise on annual budget planning and cost analysis to ensure internal resources are being spent appropriately and equitably on staffing, professional development, travel, events / conferences, marketing, and more.
  • Legal & Compliance: Liaise with Desmos' outside legal counsel to manage and track all legal matters (e.g., patent applications, contracts, Data Processing Agreement work, etc.); actively monitor data privacy regulatory changes and advise on policies and practices to ensure the highest levels of data privacy protection, integrity and compliance across the organization.
  • Operations: Respond to the ongoing evolution of organizational needs; reallocate time, resources and priorities to ensure high-impact opportunities (e.g., conferences, offsites, etc.) are seized without jeopardizing long-term priorities
  • Management: Oversee and coach the Support (both User support and Curricular Program support), Sales and Partnerships teams, as the company continues to assess the optimal structures of those functional areas; hire and manage additional team leads (e.g., HR & Talent, Finance, etc.), as warranted.

Capacity Building

  • Establish the infrastructure, systems and processes necessary to support scalable growth across the organization, with an eye towards developing internal leadership, and improving knowledge management and communication within and across teams.
  • Establish and manage the annual capacity-planning, hiring, goal-setting and goal-tracking processes, working closely with Desmos staff to shape the priorities and direction of the company.
  • Advise on practices and manage initiatives to empower productivity among a fully-remote workforce, which include but are not limited to planning company offsite meetings, managing internal communications, and promoting the right tools and policies for daily work.
  • Above all else, keep a close pulse on the sustainability of working at Desmos, and relentlessly pursue and implement opportunities, programs and processes that enable Desmos team members to find long-term fulfillment and happiness in their careers.

Candidate Requirements:

Desmos is looking for a dynamic, driven leader who possesses the following qualifications:

  • Palpable passion for the mission and Equity Principles of Desmos in building a world where every student learns math and loves learning math, where a student's access to the power and beauty of math doesn't depend on their place of birth, race, ethnicity, gender, or any other aspect of their identity
  • Ability to compellingly convey Desmos' mission, impact, and goals externally, in an authentic way that honors the teachers and students that Desmos supports
  • Specific expertise in building and leading teams for software companies is required; experience in edtech strongly preferred
  • Strategic mindset, with a track record of partnering with leaders to build high-performing teams and internal capacity with sound cost management in high-growth companies.
  • Experience managing external-facing teams (support, sales, marketing, customer success, partnerships) a plus.
  • Ability to establish and nurture relationships with a diverse body of stakeholders in different locations, rallying them towards shared goals
  • Deftness in providing thought partnership and strategic advice, supporting colleagues in designing strategies, solving problems, deploying resources, and mitigating risks; relishes and leverages data during key decision-making opportunities

Location and Travel
The COO can be based anywhere in the United States. Once it's safe to do so, this position will require travel for organization-wide retreats twice a year and possibly team retreats at a cadence to be determined.

Compensation and benefits:

Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience, and will include a substantial equity stake in the company. Desmos offers generous benefits, including medical, dental, and vision coverage, retirement support, donation matching, and vacation time.

Desmos is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. Furthermore, Desmos believes that diversity leads to stronger teams, better products, and more successful companies. Come join Desmos team as it tackles the hard problems and builds an enduring company in the process.

On-Ramps is deeply committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We believe social change happens when people with a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and identities come together with a common purpose. We're partnering with the team at Desmos to build a diverse team that reflects the diversity of the youth and teachers that use its programs and curricula. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.