Michele is the Executive Chairperson of Corelight, Inc., an emerging leader in the network detection and response market. She’s also a published musician, her music is featured in short snippets throughout this podcast. Michele served as the CEO and chairperson of several other Silicon Valley firms, but as “AB”—Anthony Bettencourt. After changing genders in 2017, Michele started the third act of her life as a woman.
On today’s episode, Liz Tinkham talks with Michele, or “MB” as she likes to be called, about her second act as a hard-charging Silicon Valley tech CEO, and her transition to her Third Act as the leading lady of her new life. She’s paving the way for transgender people in the workplace, building the Michele Bettencourt Foundation for Fair Transgender Employment.
Michele opens up about the challenges of a secret that is the “elephant in the room”, how it consumes one’s identity, and the empowerment that comes from opening up to people about it.
(01:10) Chairperson of Corelight
(02:18) A farewell email from Anthony
(03:11) Act One: college dropout
(05:10) Dad is an inspiration at Morton Salt
(06:49) Act Two: Anthony Bettencourt, CEO
(07:46) A deep, dark secret
(09:43) The Bettencourt family
(10:51) Leading a double life
(16:12) Bro culture and the surprising brotherly bond
(17:06) Choosing to be a shiny spectacle
(18:04) March to the beat of your own drum
(20:58) Act Three: The full transition to womanhood
(22:57) A film in the making
(25:37) Fearing change (a big one)
(31:44) What’s next for Michele Bettencourt?
(34:42) The Athena Alliance and its impact on women
You can find Michele on Facebook, Instagram @thecountessnyc, and by email at [email protected] You can also connect with her on LinkedIn. To hear about more Third Act stories, subscribe to and follow the Third Act podcast at thirdactpodcast.com.