Meet Phil Mikhaylov, Gopuff’s Director of Strategic Partnerships

Get to Know a Member of Gopuff’s Strategy Team

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Gopuff has assembled an award-winning team of leaders that includes experts in engineering and technology, supply, growth, marketing, business development, and finance. With experience working at leading organizations such as Airbnb, Amazon, Anheuser-Busch, Comcast, Target, Uber, and Walmart, our team of leaders bring decades of experience across industries. 

Today, we’ll get to know one of those great leaders: Phil Mikhaylov, Gopuff’s Director of Strategic Partnerships. Danielle Andrade, Manager of Strategic Partnerships, recently interviewed Phil to learn more about his background and experience at Gopuff – read on for their discussion!

Interested in joining our team? Check out our careers page here!

Danielle: Let’s start at the beginning – are there any interesting stories or events from your upbringing that impacted your career path or who you are today?

Phil: My family immigrated to the United States from the Soviet Union as Jewish refugees when I was a baby. Seven of us moved into a one-bedroom apartment and my parents had to figure out how to make a new life in a new country after studying pre-med in Russia — which they couldn’t continue here, and instead, we had to start over. The immigrant hustle and American dream is something that I grew up with and is instilled in me as a result of this. At 14-years-old, I started a memorabilia business, buying and selling rare celebrity and athlete collectibles online and at auctions. Growing up and in starting that business, I learned three key lessons early on: how to get in front of people and get their attention, the importance of persistence & hustling, and how to find creative, collaborative solutions — all of which I apply to my work today.

Danielle: How did you get started in your career?

Phil: After graduating from college, I was the first employee at Freebie, a growth startup focused on leveraging social influence to redeem free products and experiences— paying with a social post, in essence. While there, I signed Uber as one of our first partners, quickly became acquainted with Uber’s business model, and learned more about its global mission. Not long after, I decided to join Uber and was there for over seven years. I loved the entrepreneurial culture and had the opportunity to launch UberX and UberEats across new markets globally, while bringing on notable partners such as Shake Shack, sweetgreen, Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, Dunkin’, Wendy’s, and many more. Working on those partnerships, seeing the impact they had on the business, and watching two companies come together to amplify one another inspired me and led me on my path towards focusing on growth partnerships — and eventually leading me to strategic partnerships at Gopuff. 

Danielle: Could you tell us a little more about your role at Gopuff and what you love most about the work you do here?

Phil: At Gopuff, I lead our strategic partnerships team. We identify and develop partnership opportunities with world-class brands that unlock meaningful growth opportunities for Gopuff and enable us to reach our customers wherever they are. In 2021 alone, we launched partnerships with Uber, Hyatt, Chase, T-Mobile, and UFC, among many others.  

I’m honored to lead a really incredible team of smart, talented people and they keep me motivated to come to work every day. I love that we have the ability to positively impact both the business and our customers in their everyday lives. We’re always looking for new ways to bring the magic of Gopuff to our customers with a seamless experience, whether that’s enabling someone to easily order forgotten items while staying at a Hyatt hotel, having ‘fight night faves’ delivered while watching UFC, or providing our customers with unrivaled benefits via Chase. We’re leveraging Gopuff’s unique business model to enable our partners to bring something new to their own customers, while also improving the experience for Gopuff users and meeting them wherever they are. 

Danielle: You mentioned the team you’re working with now – what are the characteristics you look for when hiring? 

Phil: On the partnerships team, we have to think creatively about the future state of the business and how we’ll help the company arrive there. So, I’m always looking for big vision thinkers and those who aren’t afraid to step out of their comfort zone. No idea is too big or out of reach. We look for collaborative team players and strategic thinkers who love to execute and have a bias towards action. Rather than bringing up issues, we always want to be thinking about how we can find solutions that benefit the business and our customers. 

Danielle: What advice do you have for others in your industry?

Phil: Embrace the challenges and remember that you’re in the driver’s seat of your career. If you are just starting out, I encourage you to find ways to stand out and demonstrate persistence. Not only will this help you get an interview or land a job, but in the business development and partnerships industry, this mentality shines through in our everyday work. 

I often tell those that I mentor, as well as those on my own team, to take a step back and make sure you have clear goals from a personal development perspective. Think about what’s important to you in work and life, your long-term objectives, skills you want to learn, and share those goals with your manager, mentors, and/or team so they can help you get to where you want to be. I’d also recommend you start doing the job that you want to have right now. There’s no better way to prepare yourself for the next level — or show others that you’re capable — than by taking on those responsibilities. 

Danielle: Taking a step outside of work – tell me a little about your hobbies and what you like to do in your free time. 

Phil: I love to learn about wine. I’m actually training to be a level 1 sommelier right now. Wine often goes hand-in-hand with food, and so I naturally love everything about cooking, from preparing the meal, to plating and presentation. Before the pandemic, I also traveled frequently, absorbing the food and wine traditions specific to the people and places I visited. Beyond this, I recently had my first baby, Mischa, and try to spend as much time with my family as I can.

Danielle: And finally, I have to ask, what is your most-ordered item on Gopuff?

Phil: Hands down, milk and diapers for the baby – and maybe I’ll sneak a little Jeni’s ice cream in the order for me. 

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