Right now Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman is at the top of his game. Last week the company reported its first profitable quarter ever, the San Francisco Chronicle reports. Foursquare recently pivoted its entire business to be more like Yelp. Stoppelman’s company is currently valued at $US5 billion.
And according to Stoppelman in a recent interview with the Associated Press, the tech industry is doing pretty well, too. He says San Francisco is especially doing well, despite the negative press the tech industry often gets in the city.
“Most cities would be falling over themselves to have the problems we have right now, which is like, ‘Oh my, we have too many jobs and people’s compensation keeps going up, so therefore people can afford to pay more to obtain housing,'” Stoppelman said. Though median prices for housing in the city are astronomical and protests against tech companies are becoming more and more frequent, Stoppelman pointed out that tech workers often fit right into the middle class.
“The reality is the vast majority of our employees are making anywhere from, you know, like $US40,000 to $US100,000. If you look at it, we are just like every other company. As rents go up, it hurts people here, too,” he said. Median income for a San Francisco household is $US73,802, according to U.S. census data.
Stoppelman also weighed in on the issue of diversity in tech. Yelp plans to release diversity data soon, he told the AP, but Stoppelman believes the root of the issue doesn’t lie with the tech companies, but with education. He cited a smaller number of female and minority engineers available for hire as the main reason tech companies employ so few.
“By the time you are talking about a company, you are talking about the end of the funnel. The funnel begins in high school, really, or even earlier maybe,” the former Harvard Business School student said. “If you want women and minorities to succeed all the way at the end of the funnel in a tech job, you have to increase the numbers starting at the top of the funnel, at the earliest age, and then make sure they stay in the funnel and get all the way through.”
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