Fidji Simo was born on October 5, 1985, in Sete, a town in the south of France. Her father was a fisherman. According to Marie Claire magazine, she is the first member of her family to graduate high school. Later, her mother also received her diploma and opened a small clothing store. Simo says she got her fashion sense from her mother. After all, she was named after the perfume Fidji by Guy Laroche. After high school, she studied at HEC business school in Paris. During the last year of the program, she attended UCLA’ Anderson School of Business. Her first job as a lobbyist intern for a fishing company. This helped her become comfortable working in industries dominated by men. Before working at Facebook, Simo spent four years working for eBay as a project manager. Currently, she lives in California with her husband and daughter. Now, Fidji Simo will begin the next part of her career at Instacart. She will assume the role of CEO on August 2. However, she joined the board of directors in January 2021. These are 10 things you didn’t know about Fidji Simo.
According to Variety, Simo was one of the most powerful women on Facebook. She led development on the original Facebook app. In 2019, she was the division manager that created News Stories, Groups, Videos, Marketplace, Gaming, News, Dating, and Ads. Before working on this development, she was the Vice President of monetization, which helped develop ads for mobile platforms. Since she was part of Facebook from the start, even though she is no longer with the company her innovative ideas will still be enjoyed by the platform's users.
2. War Paint
Simo feels the pressure of working in a male-dominated industry. She has often used makeup and her sense of style to guarding herself against inferiority and the struggle that her success is not merited. However, over time, as her success grew, she started to discard much of the negative self-talk and embraced her success. This realization happened when she was confined to bed during the last five months of her pregnancy. She still attended meetings and continued to work, so many times she would be on camera without makeup.
3. Night Owl
Since her father was a fisherman, he went to work at around 2am. Her mother often waited to go to bed until he left. Simo continued this habit. According to the Wall Street Journal, she is prone to staying up until the wee hours of the morning, so she condensed her morning routine because she is always trying to get a few more minutes of sleep.
4. Making the list
According to Fast Company, Fidji Simio was one of the most creative people in 2017. As she created new additions on Facebook’s platform, she asked one question, ‘what is the feeling you want people to have?’ When her team began Facebook Live in 2016, the buzz words were excitement and anticipation. This led Simo to promote users appearing in these broadcasts. Moreover, it segued into another platform feature, emerging with a friend. The majority of Facebook’s ad revenue was from products she created.
5. Going Live
Simo tries to create new technology while anticipating how these products may be used to promote negativity and hate on the internet. She is one of the co-creators of Facebook Live. Although the platform is used to document many important events, people have misused people to spread racist and homophobic messages. Simo has remained at the forefront of new technology, but always with foresight, so her ideas are not misused.
6. Grounding influence
Her daughter is one of the things that grounds her. Even though she finds it challenging to stop working, hearing a request to play reminds Simo that there are only so many years when her daughter wants to do that and helps her stop working. Her husband, Remy Miralles, is a stay-at-home dad who, alongside their daughter, often joins her when she needs to travel for business.
7. Different approaches
Unlike her time at Facebook, Simo is going into Instacart with a clear vision. She was a customer first, so she understands the platform. According to Yahoo, she wants to rethink the future of grocery and how the platform can become more efficient for people who live busy lives and enjoy more time with their families.
8. Falling in love
Simo feels that the best work relationship is when she falls in love with the person she works with. However, she doesn’t mean romantically. She embraces relationships where she sees potential and wants to work with them to creates the best possible outcomes for their career. This humanistic approach was a breath of fresh air throughout Facebook’s ups and downs. She worked diligently to bring back trust in the app and help people feel more secure.
9. Setting up her week
Simo tries to do a 30 minute morning check-in with herself on Monday mornings. During this time, she sets her intentions and goals for the week and planning meetings and the things she needs to accomplish. She uses her Sundays to fully set herself up for success. She does art projects such as building wands. She feels it helps teach her daughter that whatever happens in life, she has the power to take herself through anything that arises.
One of the common threads in Simo’s career is to bring authenticity and community. She once said, “So much of our interactions these days are taking place online, which is why it’s more important to be able to express yourself personally on Facebook; with so many emotions and expressions to choose from, avatars let you react and engage more authentically with friends and family members across the app.” Much like her quest to engage more Facebook users, she wants to make Instacarts’ platform more accessible for people. They have more time to connect with people, whether using features she developed at Facebook or a dining room table with friends and family.
Written by Dominique Scappucci
Read more posts by Dominique Scappucci