Cynthia serves as Chief People and Culture Officer for Genentech
SAN FRANCISCO – January 25, 2022 – Torch, the leading people development platform offering integrated coaching, mentoring and learning software, today announced the appointment of Cynthia Burks to its Board of Directors. Burks currently serves as the Chief People and Culture Officer for biotechnology company Genentech.
Burks will support Torch’s efforts to elevate the strategic role and impact of growth and development in organizations, including initiatives around DEI, new manager onboarding, high-potential employees and more. Her experience leading people programs across an enterprise business will help Torch extend and scale the scope of its offerings to reach across the HR function.
“Cynthia’s commitment to people development and how she’s applied a growth mindset to the people operations at Genentech is an inspiration,” said Torch CEO Cameron Yarbrough. “Her influence on Torch has helped us shape the future of leadership development, and we’re thrilled to have her join our team.”
Cynthia Burks has spent more than a decade at Genentech leading HR, People and Culture teams across the company, including as a member of the Pharma Technical organization, Genentech Research and Early Development HR and the Roche Group HR Leadership Team. In her current role she creates and implements people strategies for the company, ensuring Genentech remains an employer of choice. She collaborates with her leadership team and the Roche People and Culture teams on major projects as well as programs, processes and systems for the global organization. Prior to Genentech, Cynthia was a consultant and HR leader supporting organizations including The San Francisco Chronicle. She also serves on the Board of The Genentech Foundation, as well as Summer Search and Juma Ventures, two nonprofit organizations focused on helping young people realize their potential.
“I would not be where I am without strong mentors and leaders who took an interest in me and supported me through my career,” said Burks. “I believe strongly in Torch’s mission to bring coaching and mentorship to all employees and understand the impact to people’s development. I’ve seen firsthand how these offerings can develop the next generation of leaders within a company, help them realize their potential in many ways, and drive growth for an entire organization. I’m excited to help guide the business on its journey to become a leader in people development.”
Torch recently announced the appointment of Jim Bell as Chief Marketing Officer and Matt Kessler as Chief Revenue Officer, as well as the addition of Jim Barnett to the Board of Directors. This follows the closing of $25 million in Series B funding in early 2021. As demand for its platform continues to grow and extends beyond its traditional offerings, the expanded leadership team will drive further growth in bringing these solutions to market and reaching new customers.
Torch is the people development platform that harnesses the power of trusted relationships to fuel employee growth and success. By integrating coaching, mentoring, and peer learning with modern behavioral science and program orchestration, Torch helps learning & development leaders seamlessly design, manage, and measure employee development across their organizations. Leading brands like Genentech, American Express, Allstate, and Reddit use Torch to develop their employees, create stronger leaders, and improve business results.