Metromile hired former Tesla executive Colleen Qiu as its new vice president and Head of Data, representing another recent high-profile executive hire from outside the insurance industry.
In May, the California-based digital insurance platform and pay-per-mile auto insurer hired Troy Dye, a Capital One marketing veteran charged with helping to guide national growth.
Metromile became a public company earlier in 2021, after a reverse merger/SPAC deal.
Qiu joined Metromile in June, after more than a year-and-a-half as vice president/Head of Data Science at Albertsons, a U.S. grocery store company. Her Tesla stint was just before that, as Head of Global Service Data Science and Analytics for about three years, according to her LinkedIn profile. She also was previously Director of Analytics and Data Science for a short stint at Poshmark, an international clothing retailer.
In a Q&A blog posting on Metromile’s web site, Qiu explained that she sees her prior data work as having many common links.
“There are common themes despite the industry differences,” Qiu said “Technology now involves more and more data and AI, creating transparency, intelligence, automation, and optimization in almost all business areas. Data can enable us to understand our customers better and guide how we put data to work for them. It’s essential when building robust products and customer experiences.”
Those factors are important, Qiu said, because a customer-centric corporate culture can help a brand succeed for the long-term.
“Common in my career is the aim to delight customers and build engaging relationships with customers. The more we do so, the more value customers will have,” Qiu said. “People want simplified yet personalized experiences.”
She said she joined Metromile, in part, because she hasn’t yet experienced any improvements when shopping for insurance policies or taking care of car repairs despite lots of ads from insurance companies.
“Innovation in the insurance industry is at its beginning, and Metromile can be that disrupter,” Qiu said. “Inevitably, technology and data are keys to success here.”