Photo of Lynsey Thornton, Operating Advisor

Lynsey Thornton

Operating Advisor


Lynsey is an operating advisor at Bessemer where she brings deep experience as a product and experience design executive. Most recently, she was part of the senior leadership team at Shopify and joined the company in 2012 when it had 140 team members and 40k customers, and she helped scale it through 7,000 team members and 1.5+ million customers.

In her eight years at Shopify, she was the driving force and leader of the UX team, spending her days with everyone from Tobi Lutke to vocal critics of the company. Lynsey championed Shopify’s customer-first mentality, and grew the company’s design teams from 10 to over 450 people. She spent four years as the first general manager responsible for Core Product and led the direction and teams who built Shopify’s flagship back-office product. In her final year, she took on a new challenge and helped the company regionalize its product offerings and took a role as the company’s first managing director of US West, building commercial, sales, marketing, support, and PR for their largest gross merchandise volume (GMV) region.

Following her time at Shopify, Lynsey and a group of executives from Shopify launched Backbone Angels, a collective that focuses on funding women-led businesses. Since its inception in 2021, they’ve backed 42 companies, and she spends her time coaching founders through their growth.

Lynsey earned a bachelor of science in multimedia technology, and an MBA in e-commerce. She spent her early career working in gambling industry in Ireland, before immigrating to Canada ten years ago.