President, Chief Executive Officer
The About Group
New York City
At the very young age of 7, Darline Jean migrated to Brooklyn, N.Y., from Haiti with her family. “My parents stressed education and hard work. Their expectations were clear and support was strong. Those were the most important tools to succeed,” says Jean.
Her parents believed that education and hard work not only were opportunities, they were also gifts. Jean went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in business and psychology from the State University of New York, Stony Brook, and a master’s degree in business administration, with a focus on accounting and finance, from Long Island University in New York.
She worked in advertising at Saatchi & Saatchi before switching to finance at global information providers Thomson Financial, where she ultimately became director of financial planning and analysis.
Jean joined The About.com Group in 2003 and soon became vice president of finance. She was actively involved in the 2005 sale of About.com to The New York Times Co., and, following the sale, she was named chief financial officer. About.com acquired several websites, and its name was changed to The About Group. Jean became the group’s senior vice president of emerging markets, overseeing the new sites’ strategy.
In 2010, Jean began overseeing About.com’s product management and development as chief operating officer. Last September, she was named president and chief executive officer. “Knowing the company in and out minimizes the learning curve and gives me that edge. It allows me to focus on the strategic direction of the business,” she says.
Jean spends her spare time trying out new restaurants and going to the movies with her two children. Her family is close-knit and helps her to juggle motherhood with the demands of her career. “I’ve been fortunate to be able to rely on family for child care,” she says.
She confesses that she hopes to write a book some day. “I always tell women to identify what makes up their family unit and not to be afraid to tap into that group because your mind is a lot more relaxed if you know your children are being wellcared for.”