Axios Communicators

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May 03, 2024

📇 Today's special edition of the newsletter is 1,758-words, a 6.5-minute read.

1 big thing: IBM names Sarah Meron chief communications officer

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Courtesy of IBM

IBM has elevated Sarah Meron to chief communications officer, Axios first reported.

  • She will report to Jonathan Adashek, IBM senior vice president of marketing and communications.

Why it matters: The promotion is part of a recent reorganization of the communications, marketing and impact team — which included the layoffs of a "single-digit percentage of IBM's global workforce," according to a spokesperson.

Context: Adashek absorbed IBM's marketing function in 2022, and its impact team will continue to oversee the 2,000-person marketing, communications and impact team and report to CEO Arvind Krishna.

  • As CCO, Meron will oversee AI, innovation and client solutions communications, analyst relations, CEO, corporate, policy and employee communications, issues management and social media.
  • Meron previously held communications roles at Gap, Tesla, Yahoo and American Express. She joined IBM in 2020 as vice president of corporate affairs.

Of note: IBM is conducting a search for the open chief marketing officer role.

Keep reading

2. BONUS: Kimberly Bernhardt joins the Lede Company

Credit: The Leade Company

Long-time media executive Kimberly Bernhardt has joined the Lede Company to support strategic marketing and communications.

Why it matters: The Lede Company — founded in 2018 by Sarah Levinson Rothman, Christine Su, Meredith O'Sullivan and Amanda Silverman — works with celebrity clients like Rihanna and Will Smith, Emma Stone and the Obama's production company, Higher Ground.

  • Bernhardt, who held previous communications roles at The Messenger, Bustle Digital Group and Condé Nast, will help the firm expand its client base within the media sector.

What she's saying: "As corporations, brands and executives confront a multitude of intricate challenges — from societal issues and world conflict to internal dynamics — the art of crafting strategic narratives has never been more complex," Bernhardt says.

  • "The playbook for issue management is constantly being redefined, and I find it incredibly rewarding to collaborate with forward-thinking clients who are actively shaping this reinvention."

Go deeper... Meet the women of the Lede Company (via The New York Times.)

3. 💼 Corporate moves

  • Sony Pictures promoted Tahra Grant to chief communications officer.
  • Kenvue named Mondelēz International alum Russell Dyer as chief corporate affairs officer.
  • Generate:Biomedicines named Kimberly White as chief corporate affairs officer.
  • Cityblock Health promoted Catherine Anderson to chief communications officer.
  • Business Insider named Ari Isaacman D'Angelo as chief communications officer.
  • Jessica Casano-Antonellis will lead communications for the yet to be named sports streaming venture from Disney, Fox Corp. and Warner Bros. Discovery.
  • SiriusXM promoted Maggie Mitchell to head of communications.
  • GE HealthCare appointed Rana Strellis as chief marketing and communications officer.
  • Kate Humphreys was promoted to chief communications officer at Banijay.
  • Jessica Kleiman joins Lennar as senior vice president, communications.
  • ControlUp named Becca Chambers as chief communications officer.
  • BlackRock alum Alex Craddock joins Citi as chief marketing and content officer.
  • Sphera named Lisa Agona as chief marketing officer.
  • Susan Ganeshan joins Emplifi as chief marketing officer.
  • Kroll named Karen Laureano-Rikardsen as chief marketing and communications officer.
  • Brian Finnerty is chief marketing officer at D2L.
  • Edelman alum Katie Stratakis joined Samsung as head of corporate communications.
  • IFS named former CNN anchor Bianca Nobilo as head of external affairs.
  • Edelman alum Sarah Haeger joins Siemens Healthineers as head of corporate communications, ultrasound.
  • Cory Pforzheimer joins Intel as global head of technology communications.
  • Pete Pedersen has joined Contentful as head of global communications.
  • Tinder named Daily Harvest alum CJ Frogozo as global head of social impact.
  • Kellyn Blossom joins Electra as head of communications and policy.
  • Google and POLITICO alum Bennett Richardson joins Semafor as general manager and global head of public affairs
  • Meta alum Sydney Paul joins Andreessen Horowitz as government affairs partner.
  • JPMorgan Chase and Block alum Jason Rosenberg joins Wells Fargo as head of public affairs.
  • Sarah Cain joins VantageScore as senior vice president, communications.
  • Washington Post alum Perrin Lawrence joins Axios as vice president, marketing and growth.
  • Meta alum Matt Kaplan joined Endeavor as vice president, government relations.
  • Morning Consult alum Joanna Piacenza joins Gravity Research as vice president, thought leadership.
  • Memo has promoted Katrina Dene to vice president, communications.
  • Cynthia Matar joined Tusk Venture Partners as vice president, communications.
  • Bleacher Report alum Brian Reinert joins FloSports as vice president, corporate communications.
  • Rock Health promoted Claire Egan Doyle to vice president, marketing and communications.
  • Cato Networks named Eddy Rivera head of public relations, Americas.
  • Jason Tomassini joins Axios HQ as head of services.
  • SoFi alum Ricardo Quinto joins Clear as senior director, public affairs and communications.
  • Ken Monahan is senior director, U.S. government relations at Thermo Fisher.
  • Longtime Meta alum Carrig Balderston joined Pinterest as director, external executive communications.
  • Nora Chan joins Robinhood as director of communications.
  • Coinbase added Jenna Valle-Riestra to its corporate communications team.
  • Gabriella Lourie joined Headway as director of corporate communications and PR.
  • Connor Penegar joined Hemmings as director of media relations.
  • Citrin Cooperman named Dan Ginsburg principal, corporate communications lead.
  • Jamie Line is director, external communications at Hertz.
  • Gia DeHart is director, U.S. government communications, for Maxar Intelligence.
  • Ursa Major named Cisco and AWS alum Jason Kello as director of marketing and strategic communications.
  • Evan Graner joins ServiceNow as global employee communications director.
  • Marissa Coughlin joins T-Mobile as senior communications manager for Metro by T-Mobile.
  • Samantha Miller joined Pearson as a media and PR manager.
  • Courtney Clawson joins NBC News as a publicist.
  • Nina Arazoza has joined Asana to support employee communications.

4. 📣 Firm moves

5. 🌱 Nonprofit and government moves

  • BCW alum Jennifer Drogus joins Consumer Technology Association as vice president, global event communications.
  • American Beverage named American Gaming Association alum Cait DeBaun vice president, public affairs.
  • Twitter and WeWork alum Catherine Hill joins PhRMA as deputy vice president of media relations.
  • Jenna MacPherson joined National Committee for Quality Assurance as assistant vice president, strategic communications.
  • Gordon Gray joins Pinpoint Policy Institute as executive director.
  • Haydé Adams joins Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation as director, media and editorial services.
  • Jessica Gail is senior director, media and communications at American Trucking Associations.

6. 🗞 Media moves

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