Ward is a seasoned technology leader and executive. He has extensive experience creating and transitioning companies whole-cloth to remote-first, both operationally and strategically. Ward’s experiences have given him insight into scaling companies from under 100 employees to upwards of 1000, generating $50M to $125M in revenue. At RealSelf, Ward is a senior member of the executive team second only to the CEO, and responsible for directing both the long-term product and strategic roadmaps. Additionally, he is responsible for a total operating budget in excess of $25M, and leads a 100-plus global technology organization. Ward has participated in multiple acquisitions at all phases, and most particularly involved in post-acquisition integration at the organizational and operational levels. Ward has executive-level pattern recognition formed from two decades of technology leadership at companies as diverse as Boeing, Amazon, Microsoft among others, and applied these learnings to become a leader in the future of work by transitioning companies to remote-first cultures with highly diverse technical and product teams.
Ward is uniformly recognized for his ability to navigate technology and the supporting organizations through the transition from scrappy, throw-away prototypes to scalable, highly durable services-oriented architectures. His focus as a leader is always on the speed of innovation, which requires maintaining a scrappy startup sensibilities at any scale. Ward has a reputation for keen strategic insights that ensure the companies where he works or advises successfully navigate the tumultuous phase transition from early-stage startup to enterprise-scale even as exogenous factors require adjustment to extant business models and product-market fit.
Ward has worked across technology as a data scientist, engineer, product manager and more; consequently, he has a keen in-depth understanding of the challenges and natural tensions that must exist in technology organizations. More so, he understands the necessary tensions with the other operational parts of a business, and how best to navigate them through thoughtful organizational and people development to create a culture of innovation at the speed of the market.
Ultimately, Ward has an unflinching conviction in what should be done to ensure companies stay true to their north star, balanced with the pragmatist’s approach to what could be done, and most importantly, the foresight and intellectual rigor to manage between these two competing tensions.
Ward’s education includes multiple advanced degrees in aerospace engineering, software engineering, and technical Japanese from both University of Washington and Seattle University. He additionally holds multiple patents from his time at Amazon. For the past 12 years he’s been actively involved in Seattle Astronomical Society as a board member and trustee. He’s married to his partner, Marit Hanson, who is practicing acupuncturist and they live with their two great danes in central Washington.