With an emphasis on educational access and opportunity, Will Billings, as Coursera’s vice president, chief accounting officer, manages and works with teams all over the world. Managing the Silicon Valley- based online learning platform’s global accounting activities, he is focused on scaling the firm to new levels, with a prominence on leveraging technology. Prior to joining Coursera, Will was the global controller for Airbnb and led teams all over the world. Managing the San Francisco-based travel company’s global accounting, payroll, management, and SEC reporting, he’s led teams in Montreal, Ireland, Singapore, and Beijing, as well as working with the company’s capability center in India. Will helped Airbnb get ready for their IPO, and although it was interrupted by COVID-19, he helped them navigate the pandemic to adapt and survive as travel came to a grinding halt. Before joining Airbnb in 2019, Will worked for World Fuel Services as a vice president, global controller, where he worked to increase value via scalable solutions. Before that, he was with GE as their Global Technical Controller. He was recruited to GE while still enrolled in his MBA program at Rice University in Houston, Texas. Recognizing the great opportunity to work while getting additional education, Will shuttled back and forth between Houston and Fairfield, Connecticut, but he’s glad he did. Working with GE allowed him to learn how to push the boundaries of adaptability and broaden his perspectives, which have continued to help him manage international, cross-cultural teams. “My prior roles have helped me build a playbook of experiences with certain solutions to challenges we face,” Will says. “With Coursera, I can leverage and implement those plays.”
Will focuses on nurturing dynamic teams and empowering the leaders of those teams. He achieves this through his excellent adaptation skills; he’s happy to adjust to each team leader’s unique work style, their most authentic self, so that projects can be completed naturally and smoothly. “It allows team members to thrive just being themselves,” he explains. He cultivates transparency and openness among all his colleagues, whether it’s a good or bad day, to continually ensure success. Another focus is technology enablement. Will knows the importance of strategic automation and virtualization, and works with tech teams to implement these technologies. He keeps abreast of emerging trends and the best ways to leverage technology so that his teams can be as productive as possible.
Vice President, Chief Accounting Officer — Coursera
Click to Download the Magazine