Meaghan Riley

Do you think having a non-linear career path will make it harder for you to advance in your career?

Not everyone has a traditional career path to get to the Corner Office. Believe it or not, there are plenty of executives out there who have found success with non-linear careers. And if you're looking for advice on how to get promoted without following a well-trod path, then look no further than my interview on The CEO Sessions with SAP COO of Global Strategic Segments, Meaghan Riley.

A non-linear career path is not a death sentence. In fact, recruiting employees with a broad background is an opportunity for many organizations, teams, and leaders to increase creativity, innovation, and problem solving.

Enter Meaghan Riley, who has 20 years’ experience leading sales teams to help C-Level executives define and achieve their digital transformation objectives across a broad range of industries.

She previously held several sales leadership roles at SAP in the North American region. Prior to joining SAP, Meaghan held roles in the strategic customer segments at Oracle, PeopleSoft, LivePerson, and Digex; receiving awards of excellence at each company. In addition to her roles in the technology sector, Meaghan served as Vice President at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co., LLC and co-founded a boutique investment bank in Latin America, providing M&A advisory services to privately held businesses, while living in the region for several years.

She holds a B.S. in Communications and Business Management from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and lives in Nashville, Tennessee with her husband and Yorkshire terrier.

Meaghan's LinkedIn profile


  • Why you should keep a statue of Wonder Woman on your desk.
  • A time when a power pose paid off!
  • Leadership lesson from working in a wallpaper store.
  • Meaghan’s HDTV 15-minute of fame.
  • A great strategy to help your team understand the bigger picture.
  • The importance of becoming an entrepreneurial executive.
  • What to do when you run into a “Protector of the Status Quo”.
  • The two traits she’d instill in every employee…. passion and drive!
  • A colorful story of when someone quit.
  • A dose of inspiration from her 102 year-old grandmother.
  • Why you don’t need a linear career path to get the C-Suite.
  • Valuing the non-linear career path.
  • Three success strategies for every employee.
  • Where her love of travel came from and how it’s helped her grow personally and professionally.
  • One of Meaghan’s most memorable travel experiences.
  • An executive strategy to unwind.


“Give your team the safe space to ask questions.”

“Breadth of experience allows you to bring new ideas to the table.”


Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk

HBR Idea Cast

Adam Grant

Simon Sinek, Start with Why

Ted Lasso

Miles Davis

Art Pepper

African American Music Museum in Nashville

Country Music Hall of Fame


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