Scribd is a digital library and subscription service referred to as the “Netflix for Books.”

Location: San Francisco, CA

Industry: E-Commerce

Size: 150-200


In 2018, Scribd grew 50%, now delivering ebooks, sheet music, magazines, and newspapers to over 1,000,000 paying subscribers. Scribd has had to maintain a rapid growth rate in order to compete with the elephant in (almost) every room, Amazon.

As a result, Scribd has promoted a number of junior managers to more senior roles than their experience may warrant. In order to ensure that these individuals receive the support and guidance they need to keep pace with the company’s growth trajectory, Scribd turned to Torch. “We felt that giving some of these individuals coaches would help them grow personally and professionally. In turn, it would better equip them to help their own team members grow in their careers and positions” said Karen Chernoff, Head of HR at Scribd.


What We Did

We started working with the Scribd leadership team in early 2018. It quickly became apparent, however, that the work we were doing at the executive level would only trickle down if the managers supporting these leaders received coaching as well. As Karen observes, “they are the ones in the trenches every day managing the teams, delegating work, prioritizing projects, and training and career-pathing their employees.” Over the course of 2018, Scribd added 8 new seats.

In addition to one-on-one coaching, Torch has designed custom workshops to address culturally-specific challenges Scribd faces as they grow. The workshops were primarily targeted at non managers with topics ranging from Active Listening, Coaching Fundamentals, and Productivity. In order to expose more of Scribd’s employees to the power of coaching, we also facilitated a day of “Laser Coaching Sessions,” which are mini 45-minute one-on-one’s that offer high.

What Our Clients Have to Say

Everyone I presented the idea to was very enthusiastic about getting the help and the fact that the company is willing to invest in their development.”

-Karen Chernoff,
Head of HR

The exercises were very helpful and relevant. I especially liked practicing with observers, because when you’re the coach, you rarely get feedback on how you’re doing.”

-Scribd Team Member