Hello, I’m Whitney Mortimer


I help make sense and strategy from the beautiful chaos happening inside and outside IDEO.

What you won’t learn from my bio:
I'm an avid birdwatcher. If you see me with a far-away look in my eye, it's probably because I just spotted something in a distant tree.

Joined IDEO:
1997 (and I was an IDEO client from 1993-1995)

My Work

ToolsDavid Kelley & Tom Kelley

Creative Confidence

WorkWhitney Mortimer

Creativity on the Front Line

Full Bio

Whitney Mortimer builds brands and organizations rooted in purpose. As a partner and senior leader at IDEO, Whitney has shaped a global conversation about how human-centered design and creativity fuel growth, resilience and positive change. An expert in communications, marketing and strategy, today she advises leaders and organizations in the fields of conservation, environment, climate change and social justice.

Whitney believes that impact is always grounded in clarity of purpose and mission. She works with leaders and their teams to tackle challenges related to brand positioning, strategy, communications, business development, and employee and public engagement at moments of disruption, change or ambiguity.

As Chief Marketing Officer at IDEO from 1997 to 2020, she led initiatives related to competitiveness, talent, diversity & inclusion, business development, and technology. She served as a board director and development committee chair for IDEO's sister company, IDEO.org, a non-profit that designs solutions that improve the lives of people in poor and vulnerable communities. She sat on advisory boards for IDEO's product businesses, online learning and open innovation platforms.

Whitney works with thought leaders and authors to help cultivate their points of view, helping bold thinkers focus and express big ideas and produce books, articles and events to amplify them.

A passionate advocate and advisor to organizations engaged with environmental conservation, women's justice, and education, Whitney serves on boards for the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and the Institute at the Golden Gate. She supports environmental programs in the San Francisco Bay Area as a bird guide, volunteer and docent.

Prior to joining IDEO, Whitney was Senior Vice President at Supercuts Inc., operator of 1,200 hair salons in the U.S. and Europe. She helped launch the company's IPO and led the marketing, strategy, research, and new business development functions. She met IDEO when she hired the company to develop a new haircutting technology and retail service for an innovative affordable hair care salon.

Prior to Supercuts, Whitney held positions in brand management and strategy with E & J Gallo Winery, Frito-Lay, and American Express. She earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in Russian civilization and French studies from Smith College.

In 2014, she completed a fellowship with On The Board, a program sponsored by George Washington University and the International Women's Forum to cultivate a pipeline of senior executive women for public board positions.

The San Francisco Business Journal awarded Whitney “Most Influential Women in Business” for three consecutive years, earning her the accolade, “Forever Influential,” in 2017.

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