Sam Wholley

Talent Partner, Technology. Menlo Park.

As a Partner at Lightspeed focusing on Founder Success, Sam oversees Product Development talent across the portfolio. He approaches business as he does many things in life: with hard work and a passion for meeting new people and making lifelong connections. Sam grew up in a very diverse city north of Boston that had a multitude of perspectives, a forceful will, and a strong sense of community; these are values he has always tried to instill in the teams he has worked with. He was raised with a strong work ethic and with a love of groups that have strong, team-oriented values which have transcended into his professional career.

“It’s been said that it takes a village to make a company successful, and I really believe that,” said Sam. “I’ve had the good fortune to work with many of the world’s best investors, advisors, and companies, and have seen firsthand the impact of having the right people and team can have on the success of the business. You win and lose as a team, and as a leader, you need to espouse this, or you will lose in the long run,” he says.

Throughout his career, Sam has been an engineer, consultant, operating leader, and an executive recruiter. While he joined Lightspeed in 2021, he has worked closely with the portfolio and team for many years. Prior to joining the firm, Sam was Managing Partner of Riviera Partners, working with public and venture-backed growth technology companies to build top-tier executive and leadership product development teams. 

Previously, Sam was Chief Operating Officer of Frank, Rimerman + Co. LLP, a Bay Area-based accounting and advisory firm, where he provided strategic planning and management, technology strategy, and relationship development services to the firm and its clients. Before that, he was a Managing Director within Caturano and Company (now RSM McGladrey), as well as a member of the internal consulting and risk management group of Fidelity Investments. He also held senior software engineering and consulting positions with Arrayworks Software, and with Computer Sciences Corp (CSC) Consulting, where he provided software development, technical advisory, and merger integration services to scaling and  Fortune 500 companies. 

Sam is a graduate of Boston College where he earned a B.S. in Computer Science, and an M.B.A. in Strategic Management and Informatics, and completed an Executive program in Leadership of professional services firms from Harvard Business School. He and his family live in the San Francisco Bay Area. In his free time, he enjoys staying active by cycling, hiking, walking, skiing – anything outdoors, as well as reading and listening to and attending musical performances and spending time with family and friends.

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