Karsten Vagner

Karsten Vagner

Head of People

Previous experience

  • Zocdoc - Third employee and Director of People (3 - 500 employees)
  • AppNexus (acquired by AT&T) - Director, People (300 - 1200 employees, 5 acquisitions) 
  • Hired (acquired by Adecco/Vettery) - Senior Director, People (200 - 400 employees)
  • Maven Clinic - SVP, People (70 - 400 employees)

What does defining healthcare mean to you?

I was adopted from Bogotá, Colombia. When my birthmother was pregnant with me, she was homeless and had no access to any kind of healthcare. A passerby told her about a clinic in the city where she could get help, and if it wasn't for the care she received at that time, she wouldn't be here today. And neither would I.

Dedicating my career to improving healthcare is my way of paying it forward. I've seen from my experiences at Zocdoc and Maven the enormous and immediate impact that innovation can have on people's lives. Building the next generation of companies that will define the future of healthcare is an honor and a privilege.

What does defining leadership mean to you?

Leadership is setting a clear vision, surrounding yourself with the right people, and then creating enough space to let them bring that vision to life. Now, if it were that easy, who would ever need HR? The best leaders I know are the ones who recognize the importance of hiring, inspiring, rewarding, and developing great people. This is no easy feat, and I am proud to help founders think about their leadership strategies in order to bring their visions to life.

What does defining partnership mean to you?

At Zocdoc, at AppNexus, at Hired, and at Maven Clinic, I had the great fortune of partnering with founders who were inventing categories. Time and time again, I saw firsthand how important collaboration is in scaling companies from seed stage to unicorn status, profitability, exits, and beyond. Being a partner to our companies is a role I take seriously because I know the value and impact we can have when we work together.