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At Meta, Sherice Torres worked as the chief marketing officer of Novi, a digital wallet. A Circle recruiter came up to her and asked if she was interested in working for them.
Novi was a good place for her, but she always believed in the power of a phone call, so when she went on a call in late 2021 "to be polite," she did it.
When Torres met Circle executives like chief operating officer Elisabeth Carpenter, CEO Jeremy Allaire, and strategy chief Dante Disparte, he thought they were very smart.
Asked Jeremy what she should take away from their first meeting, she said: "He spent 25 minutes on a Sunday talking to me about Circle's mission and values, and how we really need to start with the mission in everything that we do."
The Circle marketing chief, Torres, joined the company in January and has been in charge of marketing since then.
There are a lot of Silicon Valley workers who are leaving their jobs at big tech companies to work for smaller startups that specialize in cryptocurrencies and the nascent "Web3" space, which is a term that some people think is better than others. Tech workers who think Web3 will take over big tech companies like Google and Facebook, which have a lot of power over the web, are leaving. People who think Web3 is a scam are staying.
When Circle was founded in 2013, Goldman Sachs helped it get money from the bank. They also helped make the USDC stablecoin, a cryptocurrency that is tied to the dollar. Circle and USDC are about to merge into one company called a SPAC, and Circle is planning to go public. There is a lot of hype about crypto, but the company's CEO, Jeremy Allaire, said in a recent interview that the market is "super, super, early."
Because we want to be on the cutting edge of new things, I think a lot of executives are making this change. "We want to stay on top of consumer trends so that our businesses, our products, and our skills stay relevant in the long run.
"No, I don't think it's the end of Silicon Valley. I just think Circle and other companies are on the cutting edge of what's coming next, and I think this is a good thing. Everyone else will follow."
She got her undergraduate degree in African American studies from Harvard University, worked for Deloitte as a consultant, and then went to Stanford's Graduate School of Business to get her MBA.
She started a 15-year media career at Nickelodeon, where she worked on famous shows like "SpongeBob Squarepants" and "Dora the Explorer." In 2014, she moved to Google because she was excited about the idea of making products for the future.
That set the stage for her senior role in Meta's new payments division, where she wanted to solve the "poor tax" of cross-border remittances.
It was still called Facebook when Torres joined Meta in 2020. It was a great time to be a part of the company. The company was working on a stablecoin called Diem through a new financial services division called F2. David Marcus, a longtime employee, was in charge of the project.
It was hard for F2 and Diem to get going because the US government didn't like Facebook running a digital currency. Several US senators sent an open letter to Facebook in October, asking the company to stop using its digital wallet. They said the company "cannot be trusted to manage cryptocurrency."
In the last three months of 2021, Facebook changed its name to Meta, renamed its F2 group to Novi, and let Marcus go, too. In a month, Diem's assets were sold by Meta, and Torres went to work for Circle instead.
Torres isn't very angry about Diem and Novi's problems. She says she still thinks the idea is worth pursuing.
In the Novi project, "I still believe in it," she said. Diem is a digital currency that is part of the project. "It's not that I don't want to make a difference. I'm a leader who wants to make an even bigger difference.
"I believe this, not because I work for Circle, but because I think that in general, when you're trying to change something, trust and reputation are very important. If any company has problems with trust or reputation, it will be very hard to come up with new ideas in new places."
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