Valerie Hoecke
Board Member-in-Residence

Valerie is an entrepreneurial operator and executive with a 30-year track record of building and growing companies. Throughout her career, she has moved fluidly between startups and large corporations, making her an ideal advisor for New Venture Boards.

She has built businesses in over 40 countries, founded 2 startups that saw successful exits, led another startup which is still in flight, and led digital transformation as a C-Suite executive at one of the largest corporations in the world. Renowned for both her team-building expertise and an outstanding gut for big opportunities, Valerie brings a unique and balanced growth perspective to her role as a Board Member-in-Residence at Mach49.

Prior to joining Mach49, Valerie served as COO of the late stage startup Dia&Co, funded by Sequoia and Union Square among other leading venture funds. She managed all business functions and drove a pivot from a subscription model to a multi-brand marketplace — from owned inventory to dropship and consignment — while elevating the brand position through both business strategy and an acquisition.

Valerie also spent more than a decade in executive roles within LVMH, the world’s largest luxury company. She started as Executive Vice President of Digital for Benefit Cosmetics. There, Valerie created Benefit’s digital discipline, led the company's global digital marketing, ecommerce, and 3rd-party retail sales channels, and built its content studio. During her 8-year tenure at Benefit, the company more than tripled revenues, driven by powerful digital visibility and global expansion.

Valerie then transitioned to become Global Chief Digital Officer for LVMH Beauty — LVMH’s ~$8B annual revenue cosmetics and fragrances portfolio. She was responsible for driving global digital strategy, sales, and transformation for 16 of the most influential beauty brands in the world. She partnered with brands to build world-class digital marketing teams, modernize tech stacks, drive new distribution strategies worldwide, and accelerate to market-competitive digital sales in just 3 years.

Earlier in her career, Valerie co-founded her own boutique venture consultancy, Fire Engine Red, which was profitable from its first year and had clients including Accel Partners, Sony Entertainment, Oracle, Planned Parenthood, Mayfield Fund, American Century, Red Herring, Sun Microsystems, and many early stage tech startups. Fire Engine Red was acquired in 1999 by publicly traded holding company Rare Medium Group, which Valerie also joined. She created and managed a new service offering for Rare, the Venture Strategy Group — a team of funding, technology, and strategy consultants advising corporations in the venture industry and their startup portfolios.

Valerie passionately supports women’s access to leadership roles and is a Co-Founder and Board Member of San Francisco Women on the Web — a non-profit supporting and empowering San Francisco women working in technology.