Change Agents: Authenticity Meets Diversity, Bumble Chief Gets IPO Buzz, Qualcomm Readies New 5G Modems, An Epic Recruiting Win + More

This week in Black History Month, LinkedIn highlighted the hashtag #ConversationsForChange, and I leaned into it with some of my favorite moments from the Fortt Knox archive. At the same time, we highlighted some other types of change on CNBC. I spoke to Whitney Wolfe-Herd on Thursday as she became the youngest woman to take her company public as CEO, and to Qualcomm CEO-elect Cristiano Amon on the launch of new 5G modems. So the theme for the week? Change Agents.


Change Love: Is Bumble the Future of Dating, or Not? On the Other Hand

Is Bumble the future of online dating? Or is its bio overhyped? I argued both sides ahead of the IPO in the latest On the Other Hand:


New Wolfe of Wall Street: Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe-Herd on the IPO

We spoke with Bumble's CEO right before the stock opened for trading. My questions start about 1:30 in:


Leadership Change: Incoming Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon on Chip Innovation

Qualcomm wants to stay ahead in the burgeoning 5G market:


Stacy Brown-Philpot on Authenticity and Adaptation

Time to talk authenticity. Stacy Brown-Philpot cut a rare path through Silicon Valley, a Black woman who joined Google in its early years and eventually became CEO of TaskRabbit. She now sits on the boards of HP Inc. and Nordstrom. In this #ForttKnox archive chat, we talked about cultural competence and #identity — and how she navigates the #corporate environment while remaining anchored in her knowledge of who she is.


John Rogers on the Career Path of Co-CEO Mellody Hobson

A conversation about recruiting and advancement should include a case study on John W. Rogers, Jr. and Mellody Hobson. In this offering in #ConversationsForChange, Rogers told me he first met Hobson when she was a prospective Princeton University student. She worked at his company, Ariel Investments, as an intern, and now partners in running it as co-CEO. (Hobson was also just appointed Chairman of Starbucks.)


Q-Tip on Representation Within Music

Let's talk about representation. Q-Tip is a recording artist and producer, and a founding member of A Tribe Called Quest. In this excerpt from my #ForttKnox conversation with him, we're really talking about the layers of diversity. In the late '80s and early '90s, the rap genre and the popular perception of Black youth culture were veering into machismo and violence.

Bucking that trend, Q-Tip and some of his contemporaries formed an informal alliance called the Native Tongues. It included A Tribe Called Quest, the Jungle Brothers, Queen Latifah, Monie Love, Black Sheep and others. Q-Tip's work had a big influence on me as a Black high school student during a period bookended by the Rodney King beating and the O.J. Simpson trial. In him and in his work I saw three-dimensionality, and I heard an artist determined to be seen as a complicated person, not just a stereotype.


The journey continues with The Black Experience in America: The Course (which you can find at

In about two weeks, on 2/25, I'll be speaking in a webinar for parents on talking to young children about race in America. Sign up here: