SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 7, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- TalentSky, the nation's first skills-focused professional network, today announced its Board of Directors in anticipation of its January 2016 launch. The Board includes TalentSky CEO and Founder Rick Devine; Robert Edwards, the former CEO and President of Safeway; Stephen Gillett, the former COO of Symantec; Todd Hewlin, speaker, author, and expert on business innovation; Eva Sage-Gavin, former EVP, Global Human Resources and Corporate Affairs for Gap, Inc., and current Vice Chairman of the Aspen Institute's Skills for America's Future Advisory Board; and Gabrielle Toledano, Executive Vice President and Chief Talent Officer at Electronic Arts.
These highly experienced and influential business leaders come together with a shared desire to solve the emerging skills-gap crisis in the U.S., driven by rapid and persistent advances in technology. At the heart of this crisis is the disconnect between companies, which currently have no standardized means of communicating the skills they seek, and professionals, who have no context for understanding how employers value their current skills or insight into which new skills they would need to develop in order to qualify for new careers, roles and job opportunities.
TalentSky will introduce a universal employer-to-professional skills language, based on a proprietary methodology and continually updated—via curation and user feedback—for completeness and quality. This TalentSky Skills Library is enhanced by selected elements of IBM's Talent Frameworks data, purchased as part of an agreement between TalentSky and IBM in 2015. The Board of Directors will play an essential role in encouraging all businesses to adopt and apply this common skills language for a transparent, standardized expression of skill demand across all workplaces and industries.
Rick Devine, CEO and Founder of TalentSky, is a talent and technology visionary. A two-time start-up founder, Devine is nationally recognized for his remarkable abilities in and insights into talent recruitment and management. While working for companies in the Silicon Valley, including Heidrick & Struggles, ICG, Siebel Systems and Devine Capital Partners, Rick was responsible for recruiting executives at the world's top companies—most famously, Tim Cook, CEO of Apple.
Robert Edwards served as Safeway's Chief Executive Officer and President from May 2013 to January 2015. More recently, he has served as the Vice Chairman of the combined Albertsons-Safeway Company, one of the largest food retailers in the United States. Robert has been a member of the Albertsons-Safeway board since January 2015, and served as the company's Chief Executive Officer and President from January 2015 to April 2015. Robert also serves on the Board of Directors of Target.
Stephen Gillett was Chief Operating Officer and Board Member at Symantec, the world's largest security and information management company. He is currently an Executive in Residence for Google Ventures, where he advises and mentors the fund's portfolio companies. Prior to Symantec, Stephen was President of Digital, Marketing, and Operations at Best Buy, a Fortune 50 organization. Prior to Best Buy, Stephen was Chief Information Officer and GM, Digital Ventures at Starbucks. Stephen also serves on the Board of Directors of Chipotle.
Todd Hewlin was a McKinsey Partner and is a renowned author, speaker, and advisor to Fortune 500 Companies. He advises leaders in the hardware, software, services, and cloud markets on how to achieve breakout growth. A frequent speaker and contributor on tech industry evolution, growth strategy, and business innovation, he is the author of two books, Consumption Economics: The New Rules of Tech and B4B: How Technology and Big Data Are Reinventing the Customer-Supplier Relationship.
Eva Sage-Gavin is Vice Chairman of the Aspen Institute's Skills for America's Future Advisory Board, working directly with senior White House leaders, community colleges and corporations to build skilled workforces. In 2013, she became the ninth member and first female elected to the Board of Directors of Sapient, a technology marketing firm based in Boston. At Gap, Inc., she was Executive Vice President, Global Human Resources and Corporate Affairs, where she was responsible for the company's internal and external communications, government and public affairs, social and environmental responsibility, foundation, as well as serving as the Chief People Officer for 136,000 employees worldwide.
Gabrielle Toledano is one of the most accomplished professionals in the Human Resources and Talent Industry. She is currently the Executive Vice President and Chief Talent Officer at Electronic Arts, with an unparalleled understanding of how enterprises best manage internal talent, or decide when to recruit externally. While at EA, she has been responsible for the company's global staffing and resourcing, benefits and compensation, organization and leadership capability development, rewards and recognition, facilities, and corporate social responsibility. Gabrielle also serves on the Board of Directors of Visier.
"This hand-selected team of senior business leaders knows that business simply works better when employers and employees have a shared understanding of the skills required to meet their goals and enhance their careers, respectively," said Devine. "This Board views TalentSky as an accessible solution to the growing skills gap, which is a logical consequence of professionals' lack of transparent insight into how to develop their skills to keep pace with rapidly changing technology and workplaces. The reality is that when jobs and employees fail to align, that's not just a problem for business, it's a societal crisis. TalentSky is an immediate solution that averts that crisis."
TalentSky will launch with the participation of founding enterprise customers, representing some of the largest employers in the United States, with plans to on-board companies of all sizes following launch. Individuals will be able to sign up and create and manage their own skills-based professional profiles for free.
To learn more about TalentSky, how to become a founding enterprise customer, or to sign up for notification when the platform launches in January, visit www.talentsky.com.
Skills-focused professional network TalentSky (www.talentsky.com) represents a revolutionary breakthrough in employment visibility for companies and individuals: Bringing together a first-of-its-kind comprehensive professional skills library (enhanced by selected elements of IBM's Talent Frameworks data, purchased as part of an agreement between TalentSky and IBM in 2015) and social networking, the online platform will create unprecedented transparency into employer skill demand, giving all those who work insight into the value and relevance of their current professional skills, as well as insight into how they can develop skills to become relevant for new opportunities. Launching in January 2016, TalentSky is based in Redwood City and San Francisco.