Former CEO - Etsy; Chief Consumer Officer
Since 1999, Maria Thomas has been at the leading edge of disruptive innovation in the consumer Internet arena. Maria led several companies with technology-enabled strategies from their earliest stages through high growth phases and on to lasting value. For her leadership “Business Week” has recognized Maria as one of the Most Influential People on the Web. Maria was an early product leader at Amazon.com and the driving force behind NPR’s successful transformation from a radio-only company to a best-in-class, multi-media enterprise. As CEO at Etsy, Maria transformed a chaotic early-stage, start-up into a profitable global e-commerce platform that effectively used branding and social media to build a large and loyal following. Maria is again looking to the future with an innovative start-up, SmartThings. SmartThings has created an open platform for the smart home and has won wide recognition as a leading start up in the emerging consumer Internet of Things arena. As Chief Marketing and Consumer Officer, Maria was one of five executive team members who led SmartThings from its Kickstarter launch to strategic acquisition by Samsung in just two years. Continuing in her role as CCO within Samsung, Maria is leading SmartThings’ further expansion into new geographies and customer segments. Maria started her career on Wall Street as a financial analyst for several years with Kidder, Peabody & Co., Inc. both in New York and Sydney, Australia. From 1992-1999, Maria was an investment officer with the International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank. In that capacity, Maria traveled extensively to many emerging markets, identifying investment opportunities that could help catalyze private sector development. Maria currently serves on the Board of the online grocery company, Relay Foods,, and serves as a strategic advisor to Conde Nast's Domino Magazine and e-commerce platform. Until May 2013 when it was acquired by Nest, Maria served on the Board of privately-held MyEnergy. She is also a long-time advisor to MIT’s OpenCourseware initiative. Maria is an angel investor in several commerce and payments related start-ups. Working with investors and VCs to leverage her deep digital experience has been a hallmark of the success she has had in the boardroom.