Apr 23, 2024 - News

Spotlight: Meet Guild's new CEO, Bijal Shah

Photo illustration of Bijal Shah in the center of a Polaroid photo under a blue spotlight.

Photo illustration: Axios Visuals; Photo: Courtesy of Guild

Bijal Shah is having a banner month.

The latest: This month, she was named CEO of Denver-based Guild, which helps Fortune 1000 companies offer educational opportunities to their workers.

What she's saying: Despite floating on cloud nine, she remains laser-focused on two things — growth and sustainability — as she takes the reins at Guild, overseeing 1,200 employees.

  • "We sit at a pretty pivotal point of helping organizations think about how to reskill and upskill their workforce for the future," particularly "as AI takes hold," she says.

Zoom in: We recently chatted with Shah to get to know her better. Here's what she told us:

🌱 Roots: She was raised in an Indian immigrant family in Houston and moved to Denver in 2014 to work for Ibotta as the company's analytics and data science team leader.

🌅 Morning routine: Up and at 'em by 5:30am, when she and her husband are woken up by their 11-month-old son and 3-year-old daughter. Then it's a scramble to get ready before dropping the kids off at The Beehive, Guild's childcare center for employees.

📖 Reading list: "Co-Intelligence: Living and Working with AI" by Ethan Mollick. "It was a great book to read — both applicable for me intellectually just as a human being, but also for our company."

🎙️ Go-to podcasts: "How I Built This" with Guy Raz and "Masters of Scale" with Reid Hoffman.

  • "I just love hearing the incredible stories of entrepreneurs and their grit and perseverance.

🎵 On repeat: Beyoncé and Taylor Swift, the latter of whom she saw in Denver last year for her 40th birthday.

👟 Hobbies: Walking around Sloan's Lake with her family, doing craft projects, practicing yoga at The River, squeezing in 15-minute Peloton cardio workouts and hosting friends.

  • "I grew up in an Indian household, and people were always coming and going unannounced. My husband and I … love the spontaneity of that."

🧩 One thing on her desk: 3D puzzles. "I am really into brainteasers."

⭐ Role models: Her parents. "They're extremely hard-working … and don't take anything for granted."

💪 Leadership style: "I have very high expectations" but also "really believe in being kind."

✍️ Words to live by: "Don't wait for your next job to do your best work." — Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO

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