Axios Communicators

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February 03, 2023

📇 Today's special Monthly Moves newsletter is 2,070 words, an 8-minute read.

1 big thing: AT&T names Krista Pilot as new CCO

Photo illustration of Krista Pilot with geometric shapes and AT&T's logo.

Photo illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios. Photo: Courtesy of Krista Pilot

Krista Pilot is the new chief communications officer at AT&T and will oversee external, internal and financial communications as well as social media for the telecom giant.

Why it matters: Pilot brings vast experience to the role as a global communication strategist — having previously led external communications, public affairs and internal communications during her time at PepsiCo.

đŸȘĄ Through line: Pilot's career has centered on advocacy and using communication strategies to appeal to specific audiences to change and inform their point of view.

📈 Trend spot: The value of local storytelling.

  • "Some of the most impactful stories we see start within local communities, and to truly reach and influence people we have to take a hyperlocal approach."

Go deeper: Read Krista's Communicator Spotlight.

Bonus: Penta Group keeps growing

Illustration of a microphone with a globe for the top

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Penta Group announced the acquisition of Hume Brophy, a global public affairs, communications and strategy firm with a large presence in Europe and Asia.

  • Penta now has over 300 professionals across the U.S. and in London, Brussels, Dublin, Frankfurt, Paris, Hong Kong and Singapore.

What they're saying: "As many of our U.S.-based clients face the same stakeholder challenges in the rest of the globe, the additional expertise in these markets will better position us to deliver impact for all of our clients," Conall McDevitt, managing partner of Europe and Asia, told Axios.

2. đŸ’Œ Corporate moves

  • Twitter veteran Leslie Berland joined Peloton as chief marketing officer.
  • Pinterest promoted AndrĂ©a Mallard to chief marketing and communications officer.
  • Intuit appointed Michael Kennedy to chief corporate affairs officer.
  • TIME hired Forbes alum SadĂ© Muhammad as chief marketing officer.
  • Russell Wilkerson joined BrightNight as chief communications officer.
  • Denny's named Sherri Landry as chief marketing officer and Laurie Curtis as vice president, communications & brand integration.
  • Paramount+ appointed Erin Calhoun to the new role of executive vice president, communications, streaming and cross-company publicity.
  • Allison England joined GE HealthCare as head of communications for U.S. and Canada.
  • Disney General Entertainment promoted Naomi Bulochnikov-Paul to the newly created role of executive vice president, publicity and head of communications, and Candice Ashton will now oversee Disney Television Studios publicity.
  • Marci Milito is head of retail partner communications at Starbucks.
  • Credit Suisse appointed Cindy Leggett-Flynn as group head of communications.
  • Kati Dahm joined Loft Orbital as head of marketing.
  • Hoorae appointed Monique Francis as head of marketing.
  • Netflix alum Shannon Buck is executive vice president, publicity for Peacock.
  • The SpringHill Company alum Gianina Thompson joined Netflix to lead communications for documentary and unscripted series and films; Snap alum Nikki Merkouris joined the corporate communications team; and Twitter alum Layal Brown will support product communications.
  • CBS Entertainment promoted Kate Fisher to senior vice president, communications & specials.
  • Sean Bartlett is senior vice president, communications at the Export-Import Bank. 
  • Pernod Ricard North America hired Anu Rao as senior vice president, communications & sustainability.
  • Brightcove named Twitter alum Joseph Nuñez as global head of communications and public relations.
  • Dan Forman joined Choice Hotels International as head of external communications.
  • Strava promoted Brian Bell to vice president, communications and social impact.
  • The Home Depot promoted Heather Kennedy to vice president, government relations and external communications.
  • Christina Mastroianni is vice president, communications at BDG.
  • JPMorgan Chase promoted Chloe Chong is vice president, executive communications for corporate responsibility, and Alexandra Fenwick-Moore is executive director, head of local public affairs for corporate responsibility.
  • Lamar Dawson is assistant vice president, corporate communications at L'Oreal.
  • Allstate promoted Kristine Stelzer to vice president, internal and external communications and stakeholder engagement.
  • LinkedIn hired Alison Schwartz as senior director, employee communications.
  • Hannah Woodard joined PMC as senior director, communications.
  • Protocol alum Bennett Richardson joined Google as director of policy brand marketing.
  • BlackRock promoted Evan Johnson to government relations associate within the external affairs team.
  • Amazon alum Molly Spaeth joined the Chewie Labs communications team.
  • Twitter alum Lindsay McCallum RĂ©my joined venture capital firm Headline as director, marketing and communications.
  • Chloe Meyere, formerly of Meta, joined Autodesk as an executive communications lead.
  • Jessica Floyd is press and booking manager at Punchbowl.
  • Olivia Johnson joined Canva as communications manager, consumer and product PR.
  • Sang Lee is public relations manager, global issues and crisis communications for Expedia Group.

3. 📣 Firm moves

4. đŸ‡ș🇾 Government moves

Biden administration

  • Megan Apper joins the Treasury as senior spokesperson for international affairs.
  • Emma Dulaney is now press secretary at DOJ.

U.S. Senate

  • Josh Sorbe is press secretary for the Senate Judiciary Committee; Sen. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) has added Kaitlin Hooker as press secretary and Maddie Hughes as deputy press secretary; Sen. Katie Britt (R-Ala.) named Sean Ross as communications director; Sarafina Chitika is deputy communications director for Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); Eli Cousin is press secretary for Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.); and Sen. Eric Schmitt (R-Mo.) named Chris Nuelle as communications director and Marianna Deal as senior adviser, external communications.

U.S. House of Representatives

  • Mollie Timmons is communications director for Rep. Morgan Griffith (R-Va.); Thomas Falcigno is communications director for Rep. Eric Sorensen (D-Ill.); Claire Nance is Rep. Michelle Steel's (R-Calif.) communications director; Gabriella Salazar is communications director for Rep. Morgan McGarvey (D-Ky.); Rep. Kevin Mullin (D-Calif.) added Katrina Rill as senior adviser and communications director and Luisa Gunn as press secretary; Clarissa Rojas is deputy communications director for the House Democratic Caucus; Sarah Flaim is communications director for House Budget Chair Jodey Arrington (R-Texas); and Valeria Ojeda-Avitia is communications director for Rep. Gabe Vasquez (D-N.M.). 

Of note:

  • David Turner joined Maryland Gov. Wes Moore’s office as communications director and Carter Elliott joined as press secretary.
  • Jason Stanford joined Dallas Independent School District as special assistant to the superintendent of schools.

5. 🕊 Nonprofit moves

  • Joel Payne is MoveOn's chief communications officer.
  • Liz Bolton was promoted to vice president, strategic communications, at the Alexandria Economic Development Partnership.
  • Yolanda Brignoni is vice president, external affairs and communications, at Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation.
  • Chris Harris is joining Giffords as vice president, communications.

6. 🗞 Media moves

ABC News: Rachel Scott was promoted to senior congressional correspondent and Alex Presha is a correspondent based in Columbus, Ohio.

Ad Age: Tim Nudd is now creativity editor.

Axios: Promotions include Annelise Capossela as associate editor of editorial illustration; Jacque Schrag as associate editor of data visualization; Russ Contreras as senior race and justice reporter; Sara Fischer as senior media reporter; Andrew Freedman as senior climate reporter; Ben Geman as senior energy reporter; Mickey Meece as standards editor for National & Pro; Carlos Cunha as standards Editor for Local; Everett Cook, Lindsey Erdody, Alexa Mencia and Ross Terrell as editors for Local; new hires include POLITICO alum Alex Thompson to cover politics; Mackenzie Weinger joins as policy editor; Nick Sobczyk will cover energy and climate; Chuck McCutcheon joins as editor of Axios Pro; Emily Harris joins Axios Local — Portland; Aaron Weitzman is a health tech reporter for Axios Pro; and Axios will launch a new centralized news hub bridging the newsroom’s national and local coverage, led by Holly Moore as managing editor.

Barron's: Andy Serwer is editor at large.

Bloomberg: Amelia Pollard is a bankruptcy reporter; Kevin Orland is editor for the energy and commodities teams; Aisha Counts will cover tech; and Anne VanderMey will lead US venture capital and startup coverage.

The Boston Globe: Amanda Gokee will cover New Hampshire.

BuzzFeed News: Joseph Longo is an entertainment editor and Lilli Petersen is news editor.

CBS News: Shanelle Kaul joined as a correspondent; Elías López is a senior editor; Cecilia Vega joins as a correspondent for “60 Minutes.”

CNBC: Brian Sullivan will host the new 7pm show, "Last Call."

CNN: Alli Rosenbloom is an entertainment writer; Annette Choi and Alex Leeds Matthews join as data graphics editors; and Alayna Treene is a congressional reporter.

Forbes: Ana Faguy joined the breaking news team.

Fortune: Ben Weiss covers crypto.

The Hill: Riley Gutiérrez McDermid is editor and Sylvan Lane was promoted to assistant editor of business/finance.

Insider: Nicole Einbinder was promoted to be a correspondent on the investigations team.

Mother Jones: Sophie Murguia was promoted to deputy managing editor and Ruth Murai to research editor. 

Morning Brew: Kristine White will write the health care newsletter.

The New Yorker: Robert Samuels is joining as a staff writer.

The New York Times: Mara Hvistendahl is an investigative reporter focused on Asia; Sapna Maheshwari will cover TikTok and emerging media companies; Lexie Diao will serve as senior editor of "The Daily;" Ernesto Londoño is now a national correspondent based in the Twin Cities; Remy Tumin is a breaking news reporter; Paul Mozur is now a global technology correspondent; Jen Poyant is executive producer of audio newsroom shows; and Sia Michel is culture editor.

NPR: Dara Kerr is a tech reporter and Natalie Winston is executive producer for booking and specials.

POLITICO: Mackenzie Wilkes is now a K-12 national education reporter and Eleanor Mueller will cover economic policy.

Raw Story: Dave Levinthal is editor-in-chief.

Reuters: Kate Masters is covering U.S. specialty retail.

Semafor: Tim McDonnell is a climate and energy editor.

The Wall Street Journal: Shannon Najmabadi will cover mid-U.S.; Oyin Adedoyin is a financial reporting fellow; Vaughn Sterling is senior executive producer on the video team; Jamie Leventhal joins as a YouTube video journalist; John Keilman covers manufacturing; and Philana Patterson was promoted to head of audio.

The Washington Post: Aaron Schaffer is assistant editor of the 202 newsletter; Evan Hill joined the investigative unit; Ali Pannoni is talent and community editor; Caitlin Gilbert is a data reporter on the well+being team; Maeve Reston is a national political reporter; Mary Beth Sheridan is Mexico City bureau chief; and Kevin Sieff is an investigative sports reporter.

WIRED: Paresh Dave is a senior writer covering big tech.

The Wrap: Kristen Lopez is film editor and Jose Alejandro Bastidas is TV editor.

That's a wrap on this special edition of Axios Communicators, which should land in your inbox on the first Friday of every month.

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