Autonomy, meaning and fun: How ShopRunner CTO Greg Ball keeps his engineering team booming

Greg Ball ShopRunner CTO

ShopRunner CTO Greg Ball is a bit of a product person. But don’t take our word for it.

“Building new products is what gets me out of bed every day,” he said.

Ball’s love of building products is a significant reason why he joined ShopRunner, a fast-growing subscription service that offers free, two-day shipping and returns at more than 140 online stores. Before joining the company, Ball was VP of technology at Orbitz — a company where size can occasionally stymie the product development process.

“At ShopRunner, we can move faster and make decisions more quickly,” said Ball. “We can literally decide something in the morning and then start working on it in the afternoon.”

That quick turnaround time is welcomed, as ShopRunner has a multitude of projects in the works. We spoke to Ball to learn more about what his team is working on, his approach to leadership and what he looks for when hiring.

You were at Orbitz prior to joining ShopRunner. What drew you to the company?

ShopRunner CEO Sam Yagan is fantastic. You can’t ask for a more proven entrepreneur or better leader to work with. I also liked where the business was at in its life cycle. ShopRunner is healthy and established, but Sam’s observation is that there’s still room to innovate and build new products that will take us to the next level. Building new products is what gets me out of bed every day. This really was a unique opportunity to join a healthy business with a lot of new projects in the pipeline.

There are people who want to help you become the company you’re going to be, and then there are people who only want to join you once you’re there. We try to only hire the former.

Since…

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We spoke to Ball to learn more about what his team is working on, his approach to leadership and what he looks for when hiring. ShopRunner is healthy and established, but Sam’s observation is that there’s still room to innovate and build new products that will take us to the next level. This really was a unique opportunity to join a healthy business with a lot of new projects in the pipeline. There are people who want to help you become the company you’re going to be, and then there are people who only want to join you once you’re there. We try to only hire the former.” Since you’ve joined ShopRunner, what’s the biggest tech hurdle your team has had to overcome? Can you talk about those tools or the projects your team is currently working on? We’re making a bunch of investments in data science and engineering. I try to give my team some autonomy and make sure they understand why they’re building what they’re building so it has some meaning. There are people who want to help you become the company you’re going to be, and then there are people who only want to join you once you’re there. I love hiring multidisciplinary people because they bring a variety of strengths to their role, which helps us have better conversations and build better products.
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