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What's the problem with Silicon Valley? White guys talking to white guys about white guy issues - one CEO claims

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L-R: Noam Bardin (Waze), , Maelle Gavet (Ozon), Junyu Wang (Wandoujia), Roger Egan (RedMart) with Mike Butcher (TechCrunch) at the Web Summit

L-R: Noam Bardin (Waze), , Maelle Gavet (Ozon), Junyu Wang (Wandoujia), Roger Egan (RedMart) with Mike Butcher (TechCrunch) at the Web Summit

L-R: Noam Bardin (Waze), , Maelle Gavet (Ozon), Junyu Wang (Wandoujia), Roger Egan (RedMart) with Mike Butcher (TechCrunch) at the Web Summit

As the head of Russia’s most successful e-commerce company Maelle Gavet is obviously no pushover.

The successful businesswoman is the chief executive on Ozon, referred to as the Amazon.com of Russia.

So when she took to the main stage at Dublin's Web Summit,  she was quick to defend why not all tech firms have to move to Silicon Valley.

Ms Gavet admits while the weather is definitely better in California than Moscow, it raises other issues.

“At some point the problem with Silicon Valley is that everybody lives in bubble, with white guys talking to white guys about white guys problems,” she told the packed main auditorium at the end of day two of the Web Summit.

“That’s great but you miss a lot of things around you.”

Fellow speaker, Waze chief executive Noam Bardin, was quick to ask if most people in her firm were white men talking to eachother.

“We’ve 40pc women in our company,” she replied, to applause.

Ms Garvey, who is among the 15pc of female speakers at the event, took part in a grrup discussion with four men on the tech revolution outsidethe Valley.

Under Ms Gavet’s leaderships Ozon’s revenue soared by 84pc in 2011, with sales topping $300m.

At just 34 years old, she was named among Fortune’s 40 Under 40, Forbes’ Women to Watch, and Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business.

In addition to manning the helm of Ozon, Ms Gavet is also building her own private shipping company, O-Courier, and is investing in a travel firm and the Russian version of Zappos.

However she points out that Amazons’s move in to distribution had copied Ozon, which recently struck a deal with retail chain NTS

“When see headlines about Amazon opening centres in New York, testing lockers, we have been doing it for years,” she added.

“So they are copying us.”

Online Editors