In Their Shoes: Fidji Simo

Leading by example & vulnerability

In this special episode of In Their Shoes, Dr. Jenn and Executive Producer, Beth Bonilla, interview Fidji Simo, Vice President and Head of Facebook App, as she talks about building a stronger kind of leadership through chronic, often stigmatized health conditions.

As the Head of Facebook app, Fidji oversees the development and strategy for the entire App including News Feed, Stories, Groups, and more. She is responsible for the creation of Facebook Live and Facebook Watch too. Aside from being a badass female leader, she has also had her fair share of health and medical issues. A bit about her health journey:

  • She had a miscarriage at the office that later led to a pregnancy where she was forced to lead teams from bedrest.
  • She battled endometriosis at the height of her becoming the Head of Facebook App that forced a rather personal conversation with her new manager, Mark Zuckerberg, on the first day of the job (the topic being about her uterus!). She later discovered her surgeons through the support of a Facebook Group.
  • And most recently a very complicated battle with POTS – that has forced her to take medical leave from time to time while leading Facebook.

This year she is really determined to shine a spotlight on chronic illnesses that affect women that are both rare and underinvested in, talk about gender bias in medicine (specifically for women of color), help dismiss the taboo stereotypes that women face in discussing health issues at the office, and talk about how she is leading/shaping Facebook through the lens of this all when building products for 3 billion people.



Fidji Simo, Vice President, Head of Facebook App

Fidji Simo is the Head of Facebook App, where she oversees the development and strategy for the Facebook App, including News Feed, Stories, Groups, Video, Marketplace, Gaming, News, Dating, Ads and more.

Fidji joined Facebook in 2011. She has been a core driver of Facebook’s mobile monetization strategy and led the team in charge of developing ad formats for mobile. She has also made video a critical part of the Facebook experience, from rolling out videos that autoplay in News Feed, to building and launching Facebook Live and Watch. In her most recent role, she led all Video, Games, and Monetization efforts across the Facebook App.

Fidji has been recognized by Fortune as part of their “40 under 40” annual ranking of most influential young people in business. She was also #2 on Fast Company’s 2017 list of Most Creative People in Business. She was ranked 10th most influential French person in the world by Vanity Fair. She is a regular speaker at conferences such as VidCon, SXSW, ONA and f8.

Prior to Facebook, Fidji joined eBay in 2007, as part of the Strategy team. She holds a Master of Management from HEC Paris and spent the last year of her Master program at UCLA Anderson School of Business. She co-founded Women in Product, a non-profit to help women reach leadership positions in product management.