Innovating in uncertain times

14 January 2021

5:00 – 6:30pm London

Virtual roundtable

Meeting Overview

Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, has said “We believe in investing during downturns.” There’s no doubt that companies which have continued to invest in R&D and launch new products during these times of great uncertainty, will bounce back after the Covid-19 pandemic.

SoftBank, best known for its $100 billion Vison Fund, has taken a proactive approach in response to the pandemic. Francisco Sorrentino, their CHRO Managing Partner will share with us how in 2020:
> They’ve mapped out their ‘Future of Demand’ and the internal skills required
> Launched a new product
> Developed a 10-week internal programme to enhance their data science capability and generate solutions

Sarcos Robotics builds highly dexterous robots. Born of a fundamental need to safely enable humans to be more productive, their Guardian XO full-body industrial exoskeleton robot is the perfect synergy of human and machine. It is revolutionizing the way work gets done in manufacturing, construction, logistics, oil & gas, aviation, automotive, mining, defence, among others. Their Chief Product Officer will share with us how they’ve continued to innovate during the Covid crisis.

Francisco Sorrentino

CHRO Managing Partner @ SoftBank Group International


As CHRO of Softbank Group International, Francisco oversees all aspects of the people and organization at SBGI while also supporting the various companies that comprise SBGI’s diverse portfolio of assets. Francisco works to increase the value of SBGI’s portfolio by supporting the investment and value creation processes, enabling the SBGI team to work at its best in a high-performance and inclusive work environment.

“I feel privileged to be part of this amazing team, investing in the most innovative companies around the world. Together, we are connecting people, technology and the ideas that are reshaping the world as we know it.”

Prior to SoftBank, Francisco led Human Resources for Microsoft in Latin America and served as a member of the company’s Global HR Executive Leadership. He played a key role driving an unprecedent leadership and cultural transformation as part of Microsoft’s evolution into a leader in Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence.

Prior to Microsoft, Francisco was a member of Merck’s HR Executive Team, where he helped drive the transformation of the company’s go-to-market strategy. He led a similar transformation before Merck as Vice President of Human Resources at AIG, where he was responsible for building a regional model and driving the digital transformation of the business operations in Latin America. Before that role, Francisco was AIG’s Global Leader of Organizational Design, based in New York, where he was part of the team rebuilding AIG’s operating model post 2008 financial crisis.

Francisco started his career in the technology industry, working in IBM Argentina in the Finance area. Subsequently he held various leadership positions in Human Resources at regional and global levels based in New York. His experience of 17 years at IBM spans across the areas of talent management, executive development, compensation and organizational design. His last position at IBM was as Director of Human Resources for the area of Professional Services, based in Madrid, Spain.

During his career at IBM, AIG, Merck & Microsoft, Francisco was recognized for leading organizational change and providing a critical and innovative approach to the human resources function as a business enabler.

Francisco studied Business Administration at the University of Buenos Aires and Agricultural Economics at the University of Belgrano, in Buenos Aires.

Outside of work, Sorrentino enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. He also finds time to play various sports and cook for his family and friends.

Kristi Martindale

Chief Product Officer @ Sarcos Robotics


Kristi Martindale serves as Chief Product & Marketing Officer for Sarcos Robotics. In this role, she is responsible for defining the Company’s product and service offerings to efficiently maximize customer acquisition, satisfaction, retention, and profitability. Martindale also oversees all aspects of brand, marketing, and communications strategy and execution for Sarcos.

A 25-year veteran of the technology industry and a brand-builder, Martindale’s passion is developing performance-driven global organizations and creating new markets. She has designed, developed, and deployed successful industry-leading products and strategies for startups, mid-sized companies, and Fortune 100 companies.

Prior to joining Sarcos, Martindale spent more than 13 years with Qualcomm Incorporated as Vice President, Global Marketing. In this role, she led marketing for many of Qualcomm’s business units, including software, services, emerging technology, and licensing worldwide. She was charged with bringing to market products, services, and solutions that spanned a multitude of industries, including augmented reality, proximal & broadcast communications, healthcare, Internet of Things (IoT), transportation, and wireless. Martindale also led many notable wireless and mobile initiatives, including the launch of several industry-leading consortia, developer programs, the first smartwatch reference design, and several other products into the B2B and B2C markets. Martindale previously achieved early career success in senior marketing roles for technology and software companies in e-commerce, supply chain management, and wireless communications.

Martindale currently serves as an Advisory Board Member for cBio and also serves on the Board of Directors for Walden Family Services. She is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and events.

Martindale holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management from the University of La Verne.

This meeting is open to Innovation Partnership members and partners. If you wish to apply to join please email