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The Silicon Valley Leadership Group Welcomes Experts from Healthcare, Technology, and Energy—as Well as a New CEO

In May, Stanford Children’s Health President & CEO Paul King (pictured above) spoke at a Silicon Valley Leadership Group press conference announcing the donation of 1,000,000 face shields to area hospitals, including 100,000 to Stanford Children’s Health. To support frontline healthcare workers, the Silicon Valley COVID-19 Aid Coalition was founded in March and spearheaded by SVLG and its member companies. Over $8.5 million has been raised to date. “That certainly speaks highly of what the Leadership Group has been doing leading in this effort,” says King, “in terms of trying to make a difference on the ground, on the front lines, to the caregivers.”

In June, San Jose-based Silicon Valley Leadership Group (SVLG)—the diverse public policy association of 350+ companies actively shaping the innovation economy here in Silicon Valley and beyond—announced the appointment of five new board members.

In joining the 21-member Executive Board, Paul King, President and CEO of Stanford Children’s Health, offers three decades of prominent healthcare experience to the SVLG, which was founded in 1978 by David Packard of Hewlett-Packard. When speaking with King by phone after his first official board meeting, he said that he is thrilled by this symmetry. “I am honored and humbled to serve as the President and CEO of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, an organization that the Packard family and their family foundation was instrumental in creating and supporting. I bring the same passion and commitment to serving children, expectant moms, and the community to the SVLG; which is consistent with the vision, mission, and passion of the Packard family.”

King, who has held leadership positions at other nationally prominent health centers; among them being Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and the University of Michigan’s C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital, brings a new and valuable perspective to the SVLG initiatives and advocacy from areas beyond Silicon Valley, and notes that his voice joins those of several others already on the SVLG in contributing to the smart policy and healthcare reform the SVLG has promoted over its 40+ years.

Joining the Executive Board with King is new Board Treasurer Victoria Huff Eckert, Founder and New Ventures & Innovation Leader at PwC US. From energy comes PG&E Vice President of State & Regulatory Affairs Robert Kenney. Additionally from tech, SAP Bay Area Chief Operating Officer Anamarie Huerta Franc and Facebook, Inc. Vice President of Global Security Nick Lovrien have also joined the 62-member Board of Directors.

Silicon Valley Leadership Group President and CEO Carl Guardino in May

“Our mission is to support every customer to be a best-run business and help the world run better and improve people’s lives,” Franc says of the perspective she brings from nine years at SAP, asking “How can we use technology and innovation not only to advance business, but to improve the world as we live in it?” She points to SAP’s social and purposeful initiatives around diversity and inclusion and sustainability and just how interwoven they are with technology and innovation.

The Leadership Group’s diversified areas of interest, including workforce, housing, and transportation, also intrigue its new members. “These things are just as important to me as an employer as they are to the other 350 members of the Leadership Group,” says King, particularly with an eye toward how they intersect with healthcare, the current environment around racial injustice and the pandemic—all of which is disproportionately impacting communities of color—and how he as an employer strives to maintain a safe and an equitable workplace here on the Peninsula. He adds, “In addition to housing affordability, we also have a cultural hurdle that we need to clear as employers in making the Silicon Valley an attractive place where under-represented minorities will want to settle. I’m encouraged to play a role in changing that since I know that the Leadership Group has already been very focused on that issue.”

Franc is similarly aware of the economic divide the pandemic has surfaced, particularly hitting female- and minority-owned businesses. She’s looking forward to the initiatives the SVLG takes up around this divide as well as education and diversity and inclusion in order to “leave Silicon Valley even better for the next generation than we found it.”


—At press time, the SLVG made another big announcement: naming new CEO Ahmad Thomas. On August 10, Thomas, previously Director at Barclays Capital, succeeded Carl Guardino, who served in the role since 1997.

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