About Charlene Li

Best Selling Author & Speaker

Transformational Leadership and Strategy Expert

Catalyzing Transformation to maximize human potential

For the past two decades, Charlene Li has been helping people see the future. She’s an expert on digital transformation, disruption leadership and strategy, customer experience, and the future of work.

She has authored six books, including the New York Times bestseller, Open Leadership, and the critically acclaimed book, Groundswell. Her latest book, The Disruption Mindset, lays out a blueprint for disruption. She is currently working on her next book, “Winning with Generative AI”.

Charlene has worked with hundreds of companies ranging from Adobe to Southwest Airlines and advised 49 of the Fortune 100 companies. Charlene has inspired a wide audience as the keynote at conferences such as the World Economic Forum, TED, and South by Southwest.

Throughout her career, Charlene has been at the edge of disruption. She worked in newspapers in the early 1990’s, helping them navigate the shift from print to online. As a principal analyst at Forrester Research, she covered interactive advertising, search marketing, and the rise of social media.

Charlene is also an entrepreneur, the Founder and CEO of  Altimeter Group, a disruptive competitor that challenged analyst firm that was acquipred by Prophet in 2015. Most recently,
Charlene served as the Chief Research Officer at PA Consulting and currently leads her own firm, Quantum Networks Group. 

She is frequently quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, USAToday, Reuters and The Associated Press and has shared her insights on 60 Minutes, The McNeil NewsHour, ABC News, CNN and CNBC. 

Named one of the most creative people in business by Fast Company and a LinkedIn Top Voice on Culture, Charlene graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College. She received her MBA from Harvard Business School. She lives in San Francisco and in her spare time teaches her cat tricks.


LinkedIn Influencer since 2012
Named by LinkedIn on of the Top 10 Marketing Influencers
Named by Fast Company as one of the Most Creative People in Business
Board of Directors for the Harvard University Alumni Association, 2011-2014
Named by Inc Magazine as one of the Top 50 Leadership Innovators
Named by NowPublic as one of the 50 most influential people in Silicon Valley.
Poynter Institute, National Advisory Board, 2009-2012
Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Santa Clara County, 1994-1995
Named by AdAge as one of its Top 40 Women To Watch

Named one of CRM Magazine’s Top Influential Leaders.

World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on New Models of Leadership, 2011-2013
Jumpshot, board of directors, 2018-2020

What Drives Me

Helping Leaders Thrive with Disruption

For the past two decades, I’ve had the fortune to be an author and analyst, exploring and explaining the new world and society being created right before our eyes by new technologies. In 2008, right at the start of the recession, I started Altimeter Group, which disrupted the industry analyst world dominated by players like Gartner, Forrester, and IDC.

That’s what I do. But what I live and work for is creating the “A-ha Moment”. It happens when someone is thinking through a perplexing problem and then comes that moment of recognition and understanding. A light moves across their eyes, followed by a smile. They move from being in a place of confusion, where something is happening to them, to a place of understanding, where they have agency over their situation. Helping leaders take that first step to having a sense of empowerment and optimism, tempered by the knowledge of the journey ahead, is what drives my work.

More About Charlene

Experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want.

Charlene Li

What people say

Charlene Li is one of our finest business minds.

Daniel H. Pink

Author of six books, including New York Times bestsellers When and Drive

Charlene Li will help you and your team dance with disruption in this fast-changing world.

Beth Comstock

Author of Imagine It Forward and former vice chair of GE

Get the Disruption Dispatch

Get on my mailing list for a monthly dive into the world of disruption.