Our leaders

To be the company our customers want us to be takes an eclectic group passionate about the customer experience. Get to know the people leading the way at Zendesk — one animal-themed offsite at a time.

Management team

Tom Eggemeier

Interim CEO, Board Member

Tom is the interim CEO of Zendesk and a member of the board.

Most recently, Tom was a partner at the private equity firm Permira, where he was the Head of the Menlo Park office and focused on investing and value creation in the technology sector. In addition to the Zendesk board, Tom serves on the boards of Axiom, G2, Seismic and Mimecast. Prior to joining Permira, Tom was the President of Genesys, a Permira fund portfolio company and global leader in omnichannel customer experience and contact centre software. During his more than ten-year tenure with Genesys, he focused on developing and implementing strategic and operational initiatives aimed at driving value creation across the business. Tom’s previous global experience includes working in Paris, France for almost five years along with over 20 years operational experience in the technology sector leading teams from sales to research and development.

Tom holds a BA from the University of Dayton and a JD from the University of Chicago Law School.

Tom and his family live in the San Francisco Bay Area, CA. He enjoys travelling, reading history books and following the University of Dayton Flyers basketball team.

Shanti Ariker

General Counsel, Corporate Secretary & Chief Privacy Officer

Shanti is our General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. Shanti also serves as our Chief Privacy Officer, overseeing the development and implementation of policies designed to protect employee and customer data.

She has more than 20 years experience working internationally with high-growth companies and is a pro bono legal advocate. Prior to Zendesk, Shanti was Deputy General Counsel at Twilio Inc. Shanti also served as General Counsel at Salesforce.org and held other senior leadership roles at Salesforce.com, Inc. and Autodesk, Inc. She started out her career in private practice. Shanti received her BA from the University of Massachusetts and her JD from the University of Virginia. She is an aspiring writer, currently working on her memoir.

Colleen Berube

Senior Vice President of Operations & Chief Information Officer

As Zendesk’s Chief Information Officer, Colleen is reshaping Zendesk’s benchmark for modern IT at scale and a customer-centric workforce. She is passionate about the role of both customer and employee experience in the digital age.

With more than 20 years of experience across multiple industries and an ever-changing technology landscape, Colleen is a digital- and business-model transformation leader. Her innovative strategies help companies put their customers at the centre and create work environments focused on collaboration and open communication.

Previously, she was an executive in residence with PwC where she worked on a range of commercial and internal initiatives. Prior to this, Colleen was vice president of IT for Adobe Systems, and also held executive-level IT roles at Cisco Systems, Palm and SAP.

In her spare time, Colleen is an avid rower. She takes what she learns about discipline and teamwork on the water to the business world. She holds a Bachelor's Degree from the State University of New York at Potsdam and an MBA from the University of North Florida.

Pat Copeland

Chief Engineering Officer

Patrick Copeland is Chief Engineering Officer at Zendesk. He leads the company’s engineering team and is responsible for building and scaling reliable products and developer platforms to meet the needs of customers of all sizes.

A highly experienced technology leader, Pat has spent over 25 years building teams, scaling businesses and delivering products for some of the world’s most well-known companies. Most recently, Pat oversaw the Brand Advertising business at Amazon. Additionally, he held multi-disciplinary senior roles at Google and Microsoft.

Pat lives in the Seattle area with his wife and three children. When he’s not working to innovate and build industry-leading products, Pat enjoys drawing, photography and astronomy.

Norman Gennaro

President of Worldwide Sales

Norman Gennaro is president of sales at Zendesk, and has more than 25 years of business and technology experience leading and growing global teams of high-performance sales professionals. In his role, Norman is focused on accelerating Zendesk’s move into the enterprise market, scaling and expanding the global sales organisation, and delivering on the company’s quarterly goals and long-term strategy.

Most recently, Norman built Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) mid-market segment for North America into a multi-billion-dollar business. Prior to AWS, Norm spent 16 years in enterprise sales with Oracle Corporation. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Management Information Systems from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA in Finance and Computer-Information Systems from the University of Notre Dame de Namur.

John Geschke

Chief of Staff

John Geschke is Chief of Staff at Zendesk and is responsible for aligning the company’s office of the CEO leadership group with the execution of the company’s strategy. Prior to serving as Chief of Staff, John was Zendesk’s Chief Legal Officer. He has more than 25 years of legal experience in the technology industry.

Before joining Zendesk, John was General Counsel of Norwest Venture Partners, a venture-capital firm, and practised law as a Partner at Cooley LLP. John holds a Bachelor’s Degree from Princeton University with a concentration in the School of Public and International Affairs, and a Juris Doctor from Stanford University.

Outside of Zendesk, John is working hard on his empty nesting lifestyle with his wife of over 23 years and appreciating his two kids and two very large dogs.

Adrian McDermott

Chief Technology Officer

Since 2010, Adrian has led Zendesk’s product management and engineering teams, constantly creating new paths for product innovation and development. As the company’s Chief Technology Officer, he is currently responsible for defining its long-term strategic product direction that will shape the future of customer service. He also helps guide the company’s global customers on how to enhance their customer experience to create better relationships.

Previously, Adrian served as Chief Technical Officer at Attributor, where he managed web-crawling and content-identification systems for text, video and images. He was the first engineer hired by Plumtree Software, and remained with the company through its IPO and subsequent acquisition by BEA.

Adrian is a Yorkshireman living in San Francisco.

Andrea Nieto

Chief People Officer

Andrea (Andee) Nieto joined Zendesk in March 2022. As Chief People Officer, Andee oversees our People and Places function, which includes talent acquisition, talent and organisational development, total rewards, diversity equity and inclusion, global people partnering and HR operations. Andee focuses on creating a strong sense of community in a digital-first world and is passionate about inclusion and belonging in the workplace.

Prior to joining Zendesk, Andee spent over 25 years at Cisco (17 years) and Xilinx (9 years). At both companies she held a variety of executive roles both in human resources and business including business partnering leadership, talent management and chief of staff. Andee holds a BA in History and a BA in Speech Communication from San José State University.

Like so many working parents, Andee enjoys downtime with her family relaxing, playing board games or bingeing true crime documentaries; she cherishes alone time to read a good book.


Mikkel Svane

Founder Emeritus

Mikkel Svane is one of Zendesk’s three founders. He served as Zendesk’s CEO for 15 years in which he drove the vision, culture, and growth of the company. Under his leadership, the company went public on the New York Stock Exchange in 2014 and grew to help more than 169,000 organizations around the world better help, engage with, and understand their customers. Originally from Copenhagen, Denmark, he is a published author of the book Startupland, a father of five, and a lover of handcrafted cocktails.

Morten Primdahl

Founder Emeritus

Morten Primdahl is one of Zendesk’s three founders. He’s taken the journey with Zendesk: from three people sitting around a kitchen table in Copenhagen, moving to the US and establishing new headquarters in San Francisco, winning the business and the hearts of more than 160,000 paying customers, celebrating an IPO in New York City and witnessing the organisation grow in offices all over the world.

Alexander Aghassipour

Founder Emeritus

Alexander Aghassipour is one of Zendesk’s three founders and has served as Chief Product Officer since August 2007. Alexander leads the company’s efforts to keep clean and elegant product strategy and design a top priority. Prior to founding Zendesk, he consulted with international corporations about design, global strategy and recruiting. He also co-founded Araneum A/S, the largest Danish-owned digital media agency.