Top Dog

Who: Niloo Howe



Age: 31

Has Held Title For: 10 months

Previous Title: Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Co.

Degrees: BA, Columbia University; JD, Harvard Law School

Niloo Howe shares life at the top of this Internet company with a team of six executives — and with 23 animals. As the visionary behind one of the Web’s leading pet portals, Howe also spends much of her time nurturing a virtual community of animal lovers.

Is your bark worse than your bite?

Our goal is to make this company the “Best of Breed,” whether that title applies to our team, our products, or our marketing. Our mission is to help people do what’s best for their animals.

How do you lead the pack?

Because I have such an amazing team, I rarely need to act like the alpha dog. Everyone here shares a vision of what this company can be. It’s a team effort.

Do the people at your company have a dog-eat-dog mentality?

The people here have the same kind of irreverent, fun-loving mentality that you see in animals: If you’re not having fun doing it, then it’s not worth doing.

Which customers do you most have to satisfy — people or pets?

Both. Pet fanatics tend to view the world through their animals’ eyes. Several people log onto our discussion groups and write emails not as themselves but as their dog or rabbit. That’s how nutty people are about their pets.

Julie Piotrowski ( is a former Fast Company intern.