We are delighted to welcome Judy Gilbert as Oura’s Chief People Officer. 

At Oura, Judy will lead the operations of the People team, set the course for our talent brand, and attract, engage, and develop our talented team members around the world. Judy will be the driving force of culture at Oura, ensuring that the company stays true to its values as it grows.  

Prior to Oura, Judy was the Chief People Officer for Zymergen, an innovator in biomanufacturing, where she built a culture of collaboration, learning, and innovation. She joined Zymergen from Google, where she was a leader on the People Operations team for 12 years, playing various roles to support the company’s growth from 3,000 to 70,000 employees. She served as the head of HR for businesses including YouTube and Google[x] and oversaw Google’s company-wide learning and leadership development, diversity, talent management, performance management, and career development programs. Early in her career, she worked at Egon Zehnder International and McKinsey & Company.

Judy and her husband Dan live in Northern California with their two children.

We asked Judy about her decision to join Oura, her thoughts on the world of wearables, and how she feels her past experiences will serve her in her new role.

What brought you to Oura?

The opportunity to improve people’s health and wellness by empowering them with information is one I simply couldn’t pass up. For me, people are the heart and soul of an organization, and beyond the incredible product, I’ve been really impressed with the people I’ve met so far. I am looking forward to getting to know the rest of the team.

How has your background prepared you for your new role here? 

The opportunity to join this team is really coming at the perfect time. The business is at an inflection point; the product is fantastic; and the business fundamentals are there. And/but there’s a lot that comes along with this stage of growth that will help the company to reach its potential and have the impact it’s capable of. 

I believe I can help with that. This stage is familiar to me. I’m a builder and scaler. I’ve worked with international teams for decades, and I am excited to be a part of building what’s next for Oura. I’m in awe of the power of diverse teams in multiple locations, all working together toward a common goal.

What has your experience been with the Oura Ring?

 I’ve experimented with many different wearables over the years — from mechanical pedometers to Google Glass. I’ve been loving getting to know Oura through the Oura Ring and Oura App experience. I have three favorite aspects so far: 

  • It’s integrated: There’s lots of data, and it’s presented in an integrated way while making it easy to drill down and learn more about the components. 
  • It’s actionable: I appreciate the suggested actions based on the data.
  • It’s unobtrusive: More than any other wearable I’ve used, it goes with the flow and doesn’t get in the way of life. And it’s a simple, beautiful piece of jewelry.

What is your take on trends in work life and culture ?

The past few years have illuminated a problem that was brewing long before the world was upended by a global pandemic: people are desperately craving better work life balance. The difficulty is that it means something different to everyone and requires a lot of trust, patience, and experimentation. No two companies or workforces are exactly alike. 

The idea of “work-life balance” has also evolved: it’s broader, deeper, and much more nuanced. It used to be centered around work environments that allowed more flexible schedules, and that continues to be important. But increasingly, employees are looking for something more holistic, like a healthy work environment that allows for open dialogue among employers and employees. 

To me, this is a positive development. The new tools, technologies, and social norms that we have developed to cope with the changing dynamics of our world have expanded our toolkits. As a people leader, I see this as an opportunity to use this expanded toolkit to optimize work and life. 

It all comes back to being intentional: how, where, and when is it best for an individual to work? Some activities are better in person, and it’s worth making the effort to be together. For others, remote options can be effective and also provide flexibility that can make people happier and more productive overall.

I’m excited to connect with the Oura team and learn more about what makes this group tick! 

What are you most hoping to bring to Oura

Understanding and connecting with people is what I love the most about what I do. I have had the opportunity to learn from so many different people, companies, work environments, business cycles, and experiences. And all of it has taught me about the type of leader I want to be and the type of culture I am committed to fostering. 

Oura has a world-class team in place, based on the folks I’ve had a chance to meet so far, and I am excited to apply the lessons I’ve learned, while bringing a growth mindset to the new experiences ahead. 

Can you leave us with one fun fact?

In business school, I was in an a cappella group called The Algorithms.