Ime Archibong’s remarkable journey is a testament to his unwavering dedication and resilience. A Nigerian American with a passion for diversity in the tech industry, Ime was raised in a first-generation immigrant household and built his success from the ground up. He is currently serving as the Vice President of Meta product management and the head of the popular Facebook messaging platform “Messenger” and is known as one of the highest-ranking African American men at Meta, making it his goal to advocate for diversity and inclusion in the workplace!

The Journey Begins

Ime grew up in North Carolina and attended a primarily white catholic school. His parents were first-generation immigrants from Nigeria, and he was brought up with what he called an “immigrant mentality” which taught him to make do with what he had. Ime’s parents always wanted him to succeed and pushed for him to become a lawyer or doctor. Ime, on the other hand, felt a deep connection to technology and the business world and worked hard to make his dreams come true. This was especially difficult as the tech industry lacked diversity and inclusion substantially.

While attending Yale University, Ime double majored in electrical engineering and computer science. During his time there, he became the varsity basketball team captain, and through that, was taught invaluable life lessons on being a leader. At the end of Ime’s college career, he was accepted into the prestigious Presidential Leadership Scholars Program and set out to make a difference in the world.

Right after college, Ime began working as a software engineer at IBM but realized something from his life was missing. He recalled his days as a basketball team captain and discovered his passion for leadership. Ime went back to school and received a Master of Business Administration degree and switched his focus to technology business at IBM. Then in 2010, Ime began his work at Meta Computing and his technology ideation took off. He developed over a dozen patents and numerous applications for Meta, most notably, which focused on connecting the world to the Internet. 

Time for Change

In 2020, the Black Lives Matter Movement erupted and inspired Ime to use his position at Meta to make a difference. Ime shared his story of being marginalized in the United States and how his race had affected his tech career. This brought about a new wave of inclusion at Meta, and Ime became the unofficial leader of black Meta workers. Now Ime spends his time innovating at Meta and uplifting other marginalized people in tech.

Ime Archibong has faced many challenges throughout his life as a Nigerian American tech entrepreneur. He knows firsthand what it’s like to be overlooked and encourages others to take a stand for what they’re passionate about. He emphasizes the importance of giving back and staying connected to the community that raised you. Ime credits his success to his upbringing and his parents’ “Immigrant mentality” which taught him to fight for his success. 

One of his most notable examples of the Immigrant Mentality was when his mother was pregnant with him. She was in college at the time and had a PhD exam the same day as her pregnancy due date, and her professor refused to let her reschedule the test. Ime’s mother was stubborn and refused to miss the exam, so right after giving birth to Ime she rushed off to take the exam, and she successfully passed!

Lasting Impact

Ime Archibong’s impact on the tech industry is a testament to the power of diversity and inclusion. His work has not only opened doors for underrepresented folks in tech but has also inspired the next generation to dream big! With his commitment to connecting people and fostering innovation, Ime has shown that with the right vision and determination, anyone can leave a lasting mark on the world of technology. His legacy is a spark that continues to ignite change and progress within the community.

Learn more about Ime Archibong’s inspiring story here! 

Food for Thought

What do you think of the idea of an “Immigrant Mentality”? What inspired you to chase your dream? What are some ways that we can better support diversity and inclusion in tech?