Thai Randolph – CEO of Hartbeat


Thai is an award-winning marketer, business leader, storyteller and intra/entrepreneur who has built her career at the intersection of consumers, content and commerce. With Randolph at the helm, LOL had a breakthrough year by diversifying its programming, distribution, and partnerships to still deliver comedy throughout the pandemic. She co-led the capital raise and partnership deal with NBCUniversal’s Peacock, structured the deal that brought LOL’s Comedy in Color franchise (featuring 300 diverse comedians from 30 different countries) to the Just for Laughs Festival, expanded LOL Audio’s offerings by partnering with Simon & Schuster to bring the franchise to audiobook format, and expanded LOL’s programming on SiriusXM/Pandora – delivering on the company’s promise to provide LOL’s audience with a platform to laugh whenever and wherever they want to. Randolph recently led LOL’s launch of Women Write Now — a first-of-its-kind screenwriting fellowship developed in partnership with the Sundance Institute to champion the next generation of black women in comedy through mentorship, advocacy, production, and exhibition.

Laugh Out Loud now reaches 100 million consumers through LOL Network, with a streaming ecosystem that includes NBCUniversal’s Peacock, PlutoTV, Roku Channel, Bell Media, Snap, YouTube, Facebook, and more – creating an opportunity for diverse, emerging comedians to bring their comedy to a massive, global audience. The company also hit a major milestone of 2.2 billion content views across its portfolio from 81 countries, which includes 22 original series, over 300 original stand-up specials and more.

Continuing her mission to carve out spaces for overlooked – yet influential – voices in the industry, Randolph and co-founder/actress Tika Sumpter launched Sugaberry in March 2020 – as the pandemic caused the world to shut down. Sugaberry is a multiplatform media company created for and by Black and Brown moms. The company gives spotlights to Black Moms and Women across the industry – entertainment figures like Kelly Roland, Dr. Jackie Walters, Kandi Burrus have all joined in on the conversation. Thai also co-hosts podcast ‘The Suga’ alongside Sumpter.

In addition to her roles with Laugh Out Loud and Sugaberry, Thai serves as COO for Hartbeat Productions, where she leads strategy, operations, and corporate development for the company. This past year, she also joined the board of LL Cool J’s Rock the Bells. Thai has been named to AdAge’s 40 Under 40 list, Variety’s Silicon Valleywood Impact Report, Cynopsis’ It List, Cynopsis’ Top Women in Media, and Multichannel News’ Wonder Women in Streaming “Women to Watch.” Randolph was also chosen for Ad Age’s The List in 2019, a collective of advertising, marketing and media leaders assembled to tackle some of the largest problems facing the industry. The inaugural group advocated for equitable corporate family leave policies, speaking on their experiences at Advertising Week in New York.

Prior to her current roles, Randolph was a member of Facebook’s Global Marketing Solutions team where she managed strategic partnerships and digital transformation initiatives with some of the most innovative marketing and technology agencies in the US. Randolph also served as CMO & SVP, Marketing for Sony DADC New Media Solution’s GENERATOR business unit. Randolph was named one of Black Enterprise’s Leading Women in Advertising and Marketing in 2016 for her work transforming Sony Music’s direct-to-consumer (DTC) digital group from an internal cost center to an independent digital marketing and ecommerce service provider.

A seasoned agency executive, Randolph’s past experience also includes digital leadership roles with WPP (VML) and Publicis (Moxie Interactive) agencies, where she provided new media strategy and consultation to world-class brands including Verizon Wireless, Dell, Saks Fifth Avenue, Colgate-Palmolive and Revlon.

Randolph is frequently invited to speak as an industry thought leader at high profile events such as
Cynopsis’ Big TV Conference, Digiday’s Content Marketing Summit, Future of Television Conference, The Wrap’s TheGrill, Variety’s Inclusion and Entertainment Summits, BANFF World Media Festival, CES, Digital Entertainment World, Adobe’s Digital Marketing Conference, YouTube’s Publisher Summit, and Streaming Media East.