Cynthia Tee, a Microsoft veteran and the current executive director of non-profit coding bootcamp Ada Developers Academy, is stepping down from her role, GeekWire has learned. Tee will stay on until October to help the organization recruit and transition to new leadership.
Tee joined the diversity-focused coding school as its executive director two and a half years ago. Before that, she spent 20 years as a program manager at Microsoft, most recently working as the company’s partner group program manager for operating system services.
Tee said she chose to leave Ada because it was time for her to return to a product leadership role. Tee said that she’s not yet finalized where she plans to work next.
“I wanted to return to being a product leader again – a VP of Product, for example. I miss building product, and want to do it differently this time, with an eye for growing a diverse team, using what I’ve learned from Ada,” Tee told GeekWire in an email. She explained the move further in a blog post on Ada’s website.
Tee’s departure leaves Ada seeking a new executive director to help the organization keep growing. Ada offers tuition-free software engineering training for women and gender diverse people who want to become software developers,” as their website says.
The school has a strong focus on opening a door into the tech world for minority groups, particularly women, gender-diverse people, and people of color.
During Tee’s tenure, the organization has grown significantly. It now graduates 96 students earch year and has over 100 alumni working as software developers at companies across the country, including at Seattle companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Concur and more.
When Tee began, the organization had just 15 alumni and graduated 24 students each year.
“Ada has also expanded to do company training, partnering with our sponsors to change tech culture for the better: we facilitate workshops for Implicit Bias and Ally Skills,” Tee said.
“I look forward to the next ED driving Ada’s expansion – the core program is doing really well, and is ready to go more broadly: career development and continued education for our alumni and potentially establishing programs in other cities with the partnerships we’ve built with software companies that have bases beyond Seattle,” she said.
Hood will serve on the company’s finance committee, leveraging her strong background in finance. She joined Microsoft in 2002, and has served as the company’s CFO since 2013. Before joining Microsoft, she was an associate at Goldman Sachs.
“We are extremely pleased to welcome Ms. Hood to our board,” 3M CEO Inge G. Thulin said in a press release. “She brings her tremendous skill and immense experience to our board, especially in strategic business development, finance, and digitization.”