After climbing in a creaky elevator to a top floor, Wendy Lim is jockeying for a meeting room at Yelp’s bustling Mission Street office. Rock music blares and ping pong balls fly as co-workers chat and head off for lunch.
Lim, Yelp’s head of investor relations, remembers the early days at the business reviews website, which she joined in 2007 as employee number 40-something. Lim’s held on tight as Yelp swelled to 1,500 employees, pulling off a successful IPO in 2012 and growing expected annual sales to about $223 million.
“It’s fairly tough to operate at 1,500,” Lim acknowledges. “You’re managing big teams.” She credits her success to promoting from within, trusting her colleagues, pushing her team, developing new talent, and flexibility.
A Haas undergrad who earned her MBA at Harvard, Lim penned her own reviews on Yelp months before the company’s COO lured her from Clorox.
In her first role, Lim focused on opening new geographic markets. “The company was so small then,” she says. “It was important to be a good athlete, someone who could do a lot of things.”
Such as temporarily managing public relations, followed by jobs fielding business owners’ questions as head of user operations and supporting a customer relationship software rollout as director of revenue operations.
That kept Lim challenged and gave her the deep, “nitty-gritty” experience to handle “astronomical growth.”
Yet Lim appreciates that Yelp’s culture has remained unchanged. “What keeps me here are the people and the exciting things we do,” she says. “It’s a really supportive environment. When you walk in, you don’t have to be a different person professionally. You can bring your whole self to work.”
Head of Investor Relations,
Yelp, San Francisco