The entrepreneurs we work with are relentless. They’ve dropped everything to dedicate themselves to one burning problem, and they won’t rest until they’ve solved it. It’s this determination you also notice when you meet Adrianna Ma, who we’re excited to welcome as our new Chief Operating Officer.
An executive with more than two decades of experience at Morgan Stanley, General Atlantic and HP, Adrianna’s journey started off like that of other first-generation immigrants. "My parents say I am their American dream," the Beijing-born Adrianna shared. "They wanted a better life for me and my sisters, and when I was 10, my family’s American story began with a move to Queens, New York."
Going to MIT to study electrical engineering and computer science sparked her curiosity and passion for lifelong learning. It was like "drinking from a firehose. I was not afraid to ask stupid questions. I studied hard and kept pushing myself to take the next and more difficult class." After college, she joined HP in Silicon Valley, inspired by the company's culture, designed to help people succeed and do the best work of their life -- an environment she sought to create in all her future roles.
"What I liked about Silicon Valley was the same thing that attracted me to deal making. It is all about coming up with solutions to complex intellectual puzzles and overcoming what may seem an insurmountable challenge."
But her career in Silicon Valley came to an end sooner than she envisaged, having to move back to the East Coast for personal reasons. She got an MBA from Harvard Business School, and took a job with Morgan Stanley just as Wall Street was about to witness some of its most turbulent times. She experienced the dotcom bubble burst first-hand, surviving seven rounds of layoffs and riding out the storm focusing on tech M&A deals. "What I liked about Silicon Valley was the same thing that attracted me to deal making. It is all about coming up with solutions to complex intellectual puzzles and overcoming what may seem an insurmountable challenge."
In her next job as an investor at General Atlantic, Adrianna discovered a new passion for company building, leading the company’s investments and supporting its global portfolio. Not long after joining, she became the firm’s first female investor to be promoted to partner. It is here she met Index's Jan Hammer who, a decade later, went on to invite her to join Index.
The brief we set was to find a person with the capabilities of elevating Index further in doing the very best job in supporting the next generation of outstanding founders. Adrianna is uniquely placed for that challenge,” said Index Partner Bernard Dallé. “She will help us continue to raise the bar, having been on both sides of the table, as an investor and a limited partner investing in venture funds.
Although Adrianna will be based in San Francisco, she will have a broad global role, and spending much of her time in Europe.
"I am drawn to people with high integrity, who don't tolerate mediocrity, and who are generous and grateful. You find that in large doses at Index." Adrianna concluded.
Welcome to the Index family, Adrianna!
Published — Nov. 9, 2020