Kris Degaust is Hone’s Chief Technology Officer and oversees the company’s entire engineering team. But, creating better processes and guiding Hone’s technology decisions aren’t the only things Kris likes to build. In fact, with 20+ years of experience in both product development and team leadership, Kris has a proven track record of building and scaling engineering teams at companies like Zynga, Zendesk, dutchie, and more. That passion for people is what first attracted him to Hone’s mission and helped him hit the ground running this year.
Read on to learn a bit more about Kris, his passion for team building, and his plans to grow the Hone engineering team.
What was your professional journey before Hone?
I started my career in the Canadian military for 6 years. After that, I went to school to become a software developer. I worked at a couple of different companies and then ended up at a social web browser start-up called Flock. That company got acquired by Zynga, an online gaming company, and I moved to the Bay area (where I still reside today).
At Zynga, I started down the engineering leadership path and then found a talent for team-building over the last eight years. I helped bring the Change.org engineering team from 20 to 105 employees, Zendesk Support engineering from 35 to 170 employees, and dutchie engineering from 25 to 155 employees.
Why did you join Hone?
Having helped build out so many teams, I understand how crucial training and career progression are for employee growth and retention. That said, the real selling point for me was the Hone team. Everyone I met was so engaged and passionate about Hone and I knew immediately that I wanted to be part of that.
How do you think your past experience has helped you at Hone?
I have mentored many people and built many teams over the years so I feel that experience and the fact that Hone’s mission perfectly aligns with my leadership philosophy is a great recipe for success.
How is Hone different from other places you’ve worked?
Everyone’s willingness to be open and collaborative. No one is territorial, they all just want to support each other’s success.
What’s your number one leadership or management tip?
Get to know your people and do your best to understand their strengths. Put them in a position to succeed and build and hire the right people that fit in that strategy and team chemistry.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I play music and I love fitness and martial arts, but for the most part, I just try to keep up with my kids.