Welcome Susan Etlinger, Altimeter’s First Consultant!

by Charlene Li

Please extend a warm welcome to Susan Etlinger, the first consultant to join the Altimeter team. With the addition of Susan, we now have eight client service professionals and five team members on staff.

Susan will be working with me in the Leadership and Management practice to launch actionable programs in support of my forthcoming book, Open Leadership, due out later this month from Jossey-Bass. She will also conduct independent research and analysis, and will be starting a case study series that will examine instances of disruptive technologies in action, such as crowdsourced innovation, customer experience, crisis management and product development.

Some of you may know Susan from her recent work at Horn Group, where she counseled startups to Fortune 500 companies on the strategic use of social technologies, pioneered the agency’s social strategy and conceived and developed a number of thought leadership events both for Horn and its clients. Earlier in her career, she worked within the technology and retail business units at Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., where her responsibilities spanned organizational development to policy analysis and communications.

Susan is fluent in a broad range of technology disciplines and vertical markets. Most importantly, however, she is able to scale from strategic planning to tactical implementation, which will be a tremendous asset as we continue to build out our offerings at Altimeter Group.

Susan lives in San Francisco with her husband and young son. She is a well-known activist and a respected blogger in the special needs parenting community. When she’s not connected to one or more electronic devices, she loves to collect work by local artists, cook for family and friends and go on long, aimless road trips.

Susan’s bio is below, and is also available online. Please join me in welcoming her!

Susan Etlinger is a Consultant with Altimeter Group where she works with Charlene Li in the Leadership and Management practice, focused on helping organizations adapt and thrive in a changing technology landscape. For the past twenty years, she has worked at the intersection of people, processes and technology, in organizations such as Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., and in the agency world, most recently at Horn Group.

Susan focuses on helping clients develop strategic, actionable plans that support their unique objectives and organizations through periods of rapid change. Her experience across the enterprise in information technology, marketing, customer service and retail enables her to assimilate the needs of multiple constituencies and apply them pragmatically to real-world business requirements.

Susan has a deep grounding in interactive marketing and social technologies. As a Senior Vice President at Horn Group, Susan pioneered the agency’s social strategy offering, advising start-ups to Fortune 500 companies on social media best practices and strategic plan development. She has launched dozens of companies and products, and counseled businesses through crises, liquidity events and large-scale organizational initiatives.

An accessible, engaging speaker, Susan has authored and regularly conducts hands-on education sessions for organizations seeking to understand and integrate social technologies into their business plans. Susan is regularly interviewed and asked to speak on social strategy and best practices for business, and has been quoted in outlets including Business Week, ZDNet, The Orange County Register and eContent Magazine.

Susan’s personal blog, The Family Room, has been profiled in several national publications. She is a published translator and has a B.A in Rhetoric from the University of California at Berkeley.

More about Susan on her blog: http://www.susanetlinger.com.

Contact information:
Email: susan (at) altimetergroup (dot) com, or find her on Twitter at setlinger.


  1. Fantastic choice. Congrats to all.

  2. Congrats to Susan – and to Altimeter for its rapid growth.


  1. [...] Recently, we’ve hired Susan Etlinger, our first consultant, who’s going to work closely with Charlene and myself. Clients will get the chance to work with her on projects with me related to social business, research on consumer social behaviors, strategy, and getting your company ready internally. [...]