I’m thrilled to share that Mark Schaaf is joining Retool as our first Chief Operating Officer.
As Retool’s COO, Mark will lead our engineering, product, design, people, and support teams. COOs that come from an engineering background are rare. But it was important to me, and to Retool, that as a developer-first company, we have a highly engineering-focused COO. I couldn’t be more excited to welcome Mark to Retool. He will be helping us scale our teams and operations through our next chapters of growth.
Mark comes with decades of engineering and org-scaling experience (most recently, he was CTO at Instacart; prior to that, he was CTO at Thumbtack, and led several engineering orgs at Google, including the AdMob acquisition and team). He cares deeply about thoughtfully scaling teams and developing people’s careers, and understands firsthand what it takes to build out large-scale and performant tech stacks and platforms.
So, although most COOs don’t come from a technical background, we threw aside the typical COO job descriptions and profiles and approached crafting the role from first principles (as we do with many of our important decisions):
- Retool is a product for developers. At our core, we’re working on a new way to build software. And we’ve been making a lot of progress: over the past few months, we’ve launched Retool Workflows to make building automations and ETLs much easier; we launched a private beta for Retool Mobile to rethink how teams build mobile apps for their workforces; we launched Retool Database to make getting started in Retool less onerous. Overall, we shipped 250+ product features and improvements in 2022 alone. We’re proud of the work we’ve done so far, and we’re even more eager for the acceleration Mark will drive. His experience from Google, Thumbtack, and Instacart make him uniquely suited to help our teams navigate scaling up these systems massively.
- We’re investing in growing our engineering footprint. We plan to ~double our engineering, product, and design teams this year, and Mark’s background and experience will help us build an org that maintains our high product improvement velocity. (As Instacart’s CTO, Mark helped responsibly scale the engineering team 10x in just 3.5 years!)
- More customers are using Retool for more use cases. Enterprises like Amazon, NBC, and Snowflake rely on Retool to run mission-critical operations. NBC, for example, runs demand planning for the Olympics using Retool; Snowflake stays compliant with the SEC using a suite of Retool apps. We also launched our new and expanded free plan last year, and as a result, we’ve seen significantly more solo developers and small teams getting up and running with Retool as well. Mark’s experiences will help Retool continue scaling not only our systems, but also our teams to support the next cohorts of startups and enterprises alike.
- Retool empowers teams to operate more effectively. Whether that’s shaving 75% of the engineering time required to build and maintain internal tooling, or launching new custom apps to help teams like Support do more with less, or launching new products or to new markets faster. Mark will have a keen focus for how our own orgs at Retool can operate more efficiently, and share the learnings we see from across the Retool network with our customers.
I’m so excited to see the impact Mark will have on Retool and on our products in the years to come—welcome aboard, Mark!
PS. Mark still actively writes code and is already filing tickets for bugs and quality-of-life improvements after building several apps in Retool. If you have feature requests or feedback, please send him an email!