Chief Talent Officer
CONTACT: Jim Jonassen:
650.454.6600 (m/txt)


Insights About this Role

ØPUS Intelligence Founder & CEO, Omar Johnson, is a “force of nature”. He is bound and determined to disrupt all marketing and advertising ($700B annual TAM) <full-stop>

Omar is a former CMO (Nike, Beats by Dr. Dre, and Apple) as well as founder and CEO of ØPUS United. He has partnered up with Accel and Ryan Smith, Founder of Qualtrics, to develop the “FICO score for influence” and create a marketplace for brands to go direct to talent (athletes, celebs, but more importantly mere mortals like YOU) because those who “follow” an individual are highly likely to convert to purchase a product that is mentioned/endorsed by YOU (or Michael Jordan). ØPUS Intelligence is democratizing influence and delivering super high-yield to brand CMOs. Instead of doing a big media buy in hopes that a brand impression via an advert will result in a sale, ØPUS will tell the brand who they should pay (from micro bounties up to Kardashian-level fees) to capture their followers.

“Our marketing agency, ØPUS United studio, was built to scale an innovative and disruptive approach to driving sales,” Omar says. The approach was modeled after the marketing Omar did at Nike, which used athletes instead of media to drive revenues from $700M in North America to a multibillion-dollar global brand, and the strategy he applied at Beats by Dre, using athletes, artists, and influencers to grow from a $20M North American brand to $2.2B global brand in four years. ØPUS studio essentially functioned as a lab to codify and validate this approach across categories including consumer packaged goods, technology, luxury goods, sports, gaming, social commerce, wellness, appliances, mobile, and fashion. Today, the studio’s clients are informing product design, product management, features, and functionality of the ØPUS Intelligence enterprise SaaS. Once ØPUS Intelligence gets to the scale of ØPUS studio, a business merger will consolidate the two—thereby transforming the company executives’ equity value from a category that’s 1-3X revenue to a 10-15X revenue multiple.

What’s really interesting about Omar is that he wanted his first C-Level hire to be a Chief Talent Officer! His deep belief in talent and people extends to how he wants to build ØPUS. He understands that the issue there is that the super strategic Talent & Culture leader he has in his mind’s eye, will probably not be interested in a full-time role at this stage of the journey. That said, we agreed to introduce him to top 1% leaders who would consider a consulting engagement to set the strategy, help to get the right people, processes, systems, and most importantly cultural value proposition nailed to set ØPUS on the course to becoming a talent machine. His vision is that the company be like a pro sports team headed into the draft, with a dynamic dashboard of the best players for every position on the team.

This is not your typical Silicon Valley startup story. ØPUS Intelligence was the brainchild of a visionary subject-matter expert who partnered with iconic technology and software founders and funders to take the vision from concept into a well-funded startup. ØPUS was incubated inside a creative agency working with world-class brand clients and top-of-their-game athletes, celebrities, and influencers. To date, ØPUS has leveraged external front- and back-end software development as well as design while Omar drives product strategy and vision.

Charter of the Chief Talent Officer

  1. People & Talent Vision – Thought Partner to Omar
  2. Culture by Design – strategy for deploying Omar’s vision for OI culture
  3. Organization Design – blueprint before we build…
  4. Workplace strategy/future of work?
    • Where does ØPUS build the tech & product teams?
    • Office location(s)?
    • Return to campus plan?
  5. Talent Acquisition strategy and initial build of the function and team
    • Engage TA Lead (FT 1099 or W2)
  6.  People Operations Strategy
    • Engage HR Generalist/People Ops (FT 1099 or W2)
    • Payroll/PEO, Benefits, Comp & Equity benchmarking…
  7. Change Management (migrate ØU into ØI)

Critical Selection Criteria

  • Seasoned Talent & Culture Pro?
  • Startup Veteran (mastery in dealing w/ chaos/ambiguity; nimble and not too corporate)?
  • Technology/Innovation (ideally software) domain experience?
  • Truly Strategic Thought & Business Partner to a visionary Founder/CEO/CPO?
  • Organizational Design/Development superpower?
  • Talent Acquisition/Recruiting superpower (built a talent machine)?
  • Progressive/Innovative HR Accomplishments (Workplace/Culture/Employee Engagement)?
  • Mission-driven (Passionate about a change the world vision in prior roles/lives)?
  • Backbone (Values = true North on the compass; courage to focus the team and not get distracted)?
  • Presence to interface with investors, partners, and clients, articulating ideas in a clear and compelling way for those with less technical backgrounds?

Key Personnel/Cultural Characteristics

  • Hands-on: Flexible and resourceful, with a figure-it-out mentality and a major bias toward action and results; a doer (not just a delegator)
  • Curious, creative, deep thinker
  • Extraordinary Communicator – Direct, natural, and authentic; from the heart style and a gifted listener
  • Passionate about the opportunity to redistribute media wealth toward citizens