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Susan Paley  

Innovation Expert Global Consumer Product Businesses At General Motors

Susan Paley knows a few things about working with a creative mind. She has teased out some of the most innovative, disruptive concepts to impact the audio world in decades, many of them ‘firsts,’ by understanding how to cull hard and fast realities from ideas that started out as ethereal as fairy dust. Bridging the gap on a continuum that often has the visionary founder on one end and the pragmatic engineers on the other, Paley adds the vital part to a 3-part story of ingenuity, collaboration and enterprise.

A 15+ year veteran in consumer technology and the driving force behind some of the most innovative consumer products and embedded solutions in the audio/digital audio space, Paley has worked with global, emerging and disruptive brands such as JBL/Harman Kardon and Beats by Dre, to name a few. Her expertise: developing businesses from inception to scale that are focused on transforming markets to capture significant revenue and consumer mindshare.

More than anything Paley is a builder. In her tenure she has created successful, sustainable businesses based on innovative consumer platforms comprised of hardware, software and digital content to realize new paradigms for global lifestyle brands. She has applied this winning formula to global lifestyle brands such as Beats by Dr. Dre, JBL, GM, Chrysler/Fiat, HP, Quiksilver/Roxy, Nickelodeon and Universal Music Group.

In her most recent role Susan was the first employee and CEO of Beats By Dre, chartered with building the business from the ground up. Paley successfully guided all aspects of the company's unparalleled growth from both a strategic and operational aspect, making it the #1 headphone globally and the fastest growing brand in CE. She created "Beats Audio", a proprietary audio enhancement technology now deployed in millions of mobile phones, automobiles and PCs through licensing partnerships with HTC, Chrysler/Fiat, VW, Hyundai and HP respectively. Susan led the investment deal team that resulted in a 300M+ investment by HTC. She then moved into a General Manager/EVP Product Development role where she was responsible for building and leading engineering and product management teams to create, manage and execute the Beats product portfolio. Paley joined Beats Electronics from Harman International Group where she was responsible for identifying and developing new markets for the global brands across the Harman portfolio. For JBL, she created a new line of lifestyle products linked to a strategic partnership with Quiksilver Inc., one of the largest global youth lifestyle brands driving $40M of annualized growth. Paley was responsible for all aspects of the business from inception through launch including the business plan, product portfolio development, manufacturing, channel distribution strategy, marketing and PR.

Prior to Harman Paley served as Head of Business Development for PhatNoise, a Los Angeles-based start-up that created the first digital media platform for the car In this role, Paley was responsible for the company’s revenue through her acquisition and management of the company’s key partnerships—General Motors, Volkswagen/Audi and Kenwood. Paley worked with closely with General Motors to develop first digital content strategy for in-vehicle infotainment systems inking deals with Audible, Nickelodeon, Universal Music Group and video game publisher Capcom for General Motor’s ground breaking Mobile Digital Media System.

Currently, Paley is pioneering a health and wellness product in the wearable space with IdeaLab. Additionally, she operates as a business strategist for early stage ventures and global brands that are focused on building entirely new businesses or creating new opportunities within existing businesses. On the other side of the spectrum Paley and her husband are parents to their son, 3.5-year old son Ashi, whom they adopted from the Sidamo region in Ethiopia. Dedicated to providing the whole family with a balanced life, Paley takes ample time out for activities with her son, and their dogs, pursue her love of yoga and outdoor sports in their mountain retreat in Mammoth, California.

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