Episode 236: Taking Back Your Power w/ Deb Liu

a woman is smiling in front of a blue background that says something extra

When Deb Liu went into an interview for employment at Facebook, she took a risk and pitched an idea: To build a marketplace where users can buy and sell from each other. Six years later, her dream is a reality used by more than one billion people per month. Deb has yet again taken another chance on herself and now serves as the CEO of Ancestry. This episode is packed with wisdom on proving yourself wrong, making intentional decisions, and leaving a legacy.

Bio: Deb Liu is the President and CEO of Ancestry. With over 19 years in the tech industry, she has been named one of Business Insider’s most powerful female engineers and one of PaymentsSource’s most influential women in payments. She was previously a senior executive at Facebook, where she created and led Facebook Marketplace, a platform for millions of people to buy from and sell to one another. She also led the development of Facebook’s first mobile ad product for apps and its mobile ad network, in addition to building the company’s games business and payments platform, which includes Facebook Pay. Prior to Facebook, she spent several years in product roles at PayPal and eBay, where she led integration between the two products. She serves on the board of Intuit and Ancestry and is a seed investor and advisor to several startups. She also holds several payments- and commerce-related patents.

Actively involved in promoting diversity in tech, Deb founded Women In Product, a nonprofit with over 30,000 members, with the goal of connecting and supporting women in the product management field. She is a member of the Committee of 100, a group of prominent Chinese Americans, and was named an A100 by Gold House, an honor recognizing impactful Asian Americans.

Deb received a BS in Civil Engineering from Duke University and an MBA from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business. Each week, she posts her thoughts in Perspectives, her Substack newsletter. She lives in California with her husband and three children, and enjoys chronicling their family adventures in her Mommy School comic strip.

Deb’s Something Extra: “Every leader needs intentionality, making choiceful decisions, and deciding every single day what you hope to accomplish.”

Guest Links:


– Lisa Nichols, Host
– Scott Crosby, Executive Producer
– Jenny Heal, Podcast Coordinator
– Joe Szynkowski, Marketing Support
– Kendall Brewer, Director of Leadership Programs