About me

What I’m doing right now (updated September 2020)

  • Executive coaching. I run my own coaching practice under the name Strong Back Open Heart (blog post), primarily working with CEOs (~80% of my clients), CTOs (~10%), and other senior executives (~10%). My client list is more or less full at the moment, but if you’d like to talk about coaching, contact me.
  • Non-profit boards / volunteer work
  • Music. I started piano lessons in April 2019 at age 46 after half-assedly fooling around on guitar for 20+ years. I wrote about progress and what I had learned in my piano lessons at the six-month mark and again at one year. I’m still at it and loving it. In summer 2020, I started taking a couple of classes per term at Berklee Online and am on track to get an Advanced Professional General Music Studies certificate. My goal is to improve my skills on both piano and guitar and to have a solid repertoire for a 45-minute show by the age of 50 or by the end of the pandemic, whichever comes first.

More formal bio

Chad runs his own executive coaching practice (Strong Back Open Heart) and is serving as a Cornell Tech Fellow, co-leading and co-teaching a curriculum track there that started in Spring 2019 and continued through Spring 2020: BigCo Studio.

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Chad was the CEO of Etsy from July 2011 to May 2017, leading the company in its mission and growing it into a global community of creative entrepreneurs and their customers. During that period, he grew the company from a chaotic startup to a global publicly-traded company, growing revenue 14x during that period. Under Chad’s leadership, Etsy was known for its company culture and commitment to social responsibility. Etsy made the Best Places to Work list every year from 2013 to 2016 and the company became a Certified B Corporation in 2012, recognizing the power of business to generate social good.

Chad was CTO at Etsy from September 2008 until July 2011, leading a team that built Etsy’s core platform in its critical early years. Before joining Etsy, Chad led Yahoo’s Brickhouse & Advanced Products incubators, and the Yahoo! Developer Network. He created the Yahoo! Hack Day initiative in 2005, the first internal innovation program of its kind in a large company.

Chad came to Yahoo! from InfoWorld Media Group (IDG) where he served as CTO for nearly five years and wrote a popular weekly column for CTOs. Prior to InfoWorld, Dickerson served as CTO of Salon.com and in various engineering positions at CNN, CNN/Sports Illustrated, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and The (Raleigh, NC) News & Observer.

He serves on the board of St. Ann’s Warehouse, a non-profit theater in Brooklyn, and the Jalopy Theatre and School of Music, a beloved music institution in Brooklyn. Chad holds a BA in English literature from Duke University where he focused on the works of Shakespeare, the world’s best writer on the challenges of leadership (“Uneasy lies the head that wears a crown.”)