Meet Celine Hu, Chief of Staff at Slang:

Celine’s career started in Boston’s consulting scene, offering due diligence services for private equity firms. Eager for a deeper understanding of company operations, she transitioned to Uber’s people analytics team in 2016, witnessing the company’s highs and lows.

Inspired by the Chief of Staff role at Uber, Celine pursued a business school break, followed by a stint in a startup. Now at Slang, she brings a wealth of experience, merging consulting insights with a deep understanding of cultural impacts on company dynamics. As Chief of Staff, Celine contributes a unique blend of strategic vision and operational acumen to the tech leadership landscape.

Listen Up: Celine Hu, Chief of Staff at Slang — Full Podcast Episode on Spotify

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Quick Read: Celine Hu, Chief of Staff at Slang, Interview Highlights

I recently had the pleasure of welcoming Celine Hu, Chief of Staff at Slang AI, to an episode of Default Global. Hu, a seasoned leader with a varied career in multiple industries, shared fascinating insights on her journey, her role, and the impact of AI in the evolving world of business.

Charting a Unique Career Path

Celine traced her career path, starting from her entry into consulting to her current role at Slang AI.

“I joined a small consulting firm in Boston… But in consulting, you’re always given kind of a high-level strategy, but never actually going in-house and operationalizing it,” she said.

Her transition to Uber in 2016 allowed her to witness the “rise, the fall, the rebuilding of Uber” and the impact of culture on a company’s bottom line. It also introduced her to the chief of staff role, which she took up later at Slang AI after a stint at business school and another startup.

Striking a Balance Between Vision and Execution

As the Chief of Staff at Slang AI, Celine navigates the challenging path between vision and execution. When I asked her about balancing long-term strategic planning with the need for immediate results, she highlighted the multifaceted nature of her role.

“Culture, operations, and strategy,” she stated, are the three core areas her role encompasses.

She believes in prioritizing urgent tasks while keeping an eye on the broader strategic goals.

The Impact of a Data-Driven Approach

Celine’s background in data analytics has significantly influenced her decision-making process at Slang. Although finding good quality data can sometimes be a challenge at a startup, she stressed the importance of using data when available.

“Try to use data where it makes sense, but I would say don’t let data slow your decision-making just because it’s not giving you a clear answer,” she advises.

Redefining Business Engagement through Voice AI

Slang AI, according to Celine, is a voice AI concierge that helps small and medium businesses answer their phones, currently focusing on the restaurant market. The company aims to democratize this technology for smaller businesses and deliver a top-notch caller experience.

Embracing Remote Work and Building a United Team Spirit

Slang AI operates on a flexible remote work culture, a decision made by the company’s co-founders. To stay connected, the team conducts annual off-sites, allowing employees to meet in person and solidify relationships. Celine believes their core values, including overachiever fever, learner fervor, humility ability, and SMB MVP, play a crucial role in unifying their team across different locations and time zones.

Despite the challenges that come with a global workforce, including operational and cultural issues, Slang AI is open to hiring globally, particularly for technical roles. Celine sees this as an opportunity to tap into the talent pool worldwide.

I thank Celine for joining us and sharing her valuable insights. Her journey and perspective on the role of AI in business provide a compelling look at the future of work and the evolving landscape of global business.