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Leslie Miley leaves Slack to fuel growth in startup communities outside of Silicon Valley

Leslie Miley leaves Slack to fuel growth in startup communities outside of Silicon Valley

Leslie Miley, the former engineering manager at Twitter and now-former director of engineering at Slack, has just announced his latest move. Miley left Slack at the beginning of this year and is now working with Venture for America for the next 12 months to launch a new program called Executive in Residence in San Francisco, he told me via email.

“Silicon Valley is the center for disruption,” Miley wrote on Medium. “However, we have to develop an understanding of how the tools, platforms, and services we create impact communities outside our own. We have to engage with people and organizations that are firmly outside our respective bubbles. As a wise person once said, ‘If you’re tired of arguing with strangers on the internet, try to talk with one in real life.’ And Slack is giving me the opportunity to do exactly that.”

While Miley no longer works at Slack, Slack is paying him a salary for the next 12 months in order to pursue this opportunity. Miley told me that the door to rejoin Slack will be open, but there’s no obligation for him to return to Slack after his EIR program ends.

The EIR program is designed to connect Silicon Valley leaders from companies like Slack and LinkedIn with startups in cities including Detroit, Cincinnati, Providence, New Orleans, Baltimore, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Columbus, San Antonio, Pittsburgh, San Antonio, Charlotte, Nashville, Atlanta, Denver, Miami, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Birmingham.

More specifically, the EIR program is geared toward accelerating startup ecosystem growth in those cities and enabling the executives in residence to form connections with companies and communities in those markets. The EIRs will live and work full-time in their host city for a year, working with local entrepreneurs and startups.

“The political and societal backlash that has played out in our social media bubbles the past few years is a call to action,” Miley wrote. “Whether you’re a founder, a recruiter, an investor, manager, or executive, you have the potential to contribute to a solution. This is a call to engage locally with public institutions, a call to invest in communities that have been struggling with diversifying their economies.”
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