Ancestry Appoints Kendall Hulet Senior Vice President of Product Management

The following press release was written by

PROVO, Utah, March 3, 2015 — Ancestry, the world’s largest online family history resource, today announced the appointment of company veteran Kendall Hulet to the position of Senior Vice President of Product Management. Hulet will assume responsibilities for the global product organization and its efforts to make family history more fun and accessible to millions around the world. Hulet is succeeding Eric Shoup, who recently departed Ancestry to pursue new business opportunities.

Hulet joined Ancestry in 2003 and has held progressively senior roles in product development and management. During his tenure, he was deeply involved in some of the most popular innovations at Ancestry, including the “Shaky Leaf” hinting system that has delivered over five billion discoveries; the Ancestry Family Tree system that has led to the creation of over 60 million family trees containing six billion ancestors; and the creation of the award winning Ancestry mobile app, which has been downloaded more than 12 million times. Additionally, Hulet led efforts behind the most recent AncestryDNA launch of DNA Circles, a feature that uses genetic information to connect people who are all likely descendants of a common ancestor.

“After nine years of working together at Ancestry, I’m delighted to have Kendall take over as our SVP of Product Management,” said Ancestry CEO Tim Sullivan. “Kendall has been a vital driver of innovation at our company over many years. As we look forward to a very ambitious roadmap of new products and features for 2015, I’m looking forward to working with Kendall and the whole Product team as we continue to expand interest in family history with our totally unique suite of family history products and services. I also want to thank Eric Shoup for his broad contributions to our company over the past 6 1/2 years. Eric was a terrific leader of our product group, a strong voice within our management team, and a great colleague. Everyone wishes Eric the best as he moves onto the next step in his career.”

“I want to thank Tim for this opportunity,” said Kendall Hulet, Senior Vice President of Product Management at Ancestry. “I am thrilled to be taking on leadership of our amazing product group, a team that works diligently every day to continually enhance our ability to deliver the most rewarding consumer experience on the Internet. On behalf of our product team, we’re excited about what’s in store for 2015 and beyond as we continue to serve up compelling experiences for our customers and anyone with an interest in family history.”

Hulet has held a variety of roles in the product organization for over a decade including Director of International Product Management and most recently Vice President of Product Management for AncestryDNA. Prior to joining Ancestry, he worked in product marketing at Hulet holds an M.B.A. from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and a B.S. in Information Systems from Brigham Young University, where he graduated cum laude with university honors.

About is the world’s largest online family history resource with more than 2 million paying subscribers across all its websites. More than 15 billion records have been added to the sites and users have created more than 60 million family trees containing more than 6 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site, the company operates several global Ancestry international websites along with a suite of online family history brands, including,,, and offers the AncestryDNA product, sold by its subsidiary, DNA, LLC, all of which are designed to empower people to discover, preserve and share their family history.


I have a membership and my DNA testing through Ancestry. They used to send you an email to let you know when you had new matches. It was great. Then they stopped sending notices. I pay a lot for my international membership but the quality of their service has dropped. Maybe Mr. Hulet will work to bring the company back up to better standards.


    I still receive this email advice, but it is a service that you can opt out of. I suggest, Carly, that you look at your settings.
    I think, as the Press Release implies, the Ancestry “offer” is expanding and improving. My problem is that the offer is too expensive, I now have to rely on using the local library.


I would suggest, and I mean this in the kindest way, that Mr Hulet and his top level managers, take beginning courses in Basic Genealogy Methodology and Genetic Genealogy. They don’t seem to understand why we are spending money on Ancestry databases and DNA testing.

Shakey leaves are OK, I guess, but having easier access to the wealth of information in the Card Catalog databases would be much more valuable. The Millennium file vs. primary sources.

Does he understand that the “Circles”, while mildly amusing, are totally worthless for finding unknown ancestors and breaking down brick walls? Not to mention that when one has access to chromosome matching data, the “Circles” are inaccurate?

So, congratulations. Please take a few days to learn what genealogy is all about.


David Paul Davenport March 4, 2015 at 2:28 pm

Quite a plum job for someone who doesn’t look old enough to shave !


    David Paul Davenport March 4, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    I agree with you Marci. Ancestry seems to be very unconcerned about the quality of its product. Several times over the past 4-5 years I have sent email to ask that corrections be made to its database and they don’t respond properly. For example, several thousand people in the 1850 and 1860 census who were born in Indiana, which was abbreviated by census takes as “Ia”, are improperly entered into the database as Iowa. Their response was to tell me to enter the correction myself, but I am prohibited from doing this because I only use the Ancestry Institutional edition and this is not an option. And a month ago I notified them that the indexer had misidentified hundreds of entries in the “Applications for Headstones for Veterans in Private Cemeteries, 1925-1963” database of Liberty Cemetery in Fresno, California, as Siberts Cemetery. Ancestry’s customer support gave me the same lame excuse. They really need to improve their quality control (which seems to be non-existent). I am reminded of what Karl W, a very knowledgeable researcher told me some years ago, -“David, the information you are seeking really is there; it’s just hiding behind extremely poor indexing so you may have to browse an entire collection before you find it.”


Perhaps Mr. Hulet could start by studying the site as to how databases should be indexed. Lately I have been searching for census information on and then finding the exact same page on so I can paste it to my expensive$$$ tree.
And then he could study the exact definition of “garbage in, garbage out.”


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