Diana Marszalek 04 Aug 2020 // 2:19PM GMT
ARMONK — After several high-profile changes in the function in recent times, IBM is expanding its communications department under chief communications officer Jonathan Adashek.
Adashek, who joined IBM as chief communications officer in January, wrote in a LinkedIn post that he was “putting out the call for talented, dedicated communications professionals to join us.” Open positions include roles in internal, corporate and stakeholder communications; media and external relations; and digital content creation among others.
The expansion comes on the heels of considerable in-house communications staff turnover that preceded and continued under Adashek’s predecessor Ray Day, whose two-year tenure was marked by making substantial changes in the department.
Significant departures included Anne Marie Squeo, who spent roughly 18 months in senior corporate communications roles at IBM before leaving to join Xerox as chief communications and brand officer, and IBM Watson/Cloud CMO officer Michael Mendenhall, who left the tech giant for TriNet.
Other departures included VP David Yaun, CCO Andy Whitehouse and VPs Jeff DeMarrais and Paul Bergevin. Day, meanwhile, also made several new appointments to try and change the department's focus and priorities, before departing at the end of last year.
IBM VP of corporate communications Ed Barbini told PRovoke that the intended growth is part of an overall goal to position the 109-year-old tech giant as a major player in next-gen technology.
“Jonathan is adding to the organization, along with agency partners, to focus on IBM's leadership in hybrid cloud, AI and advanced technologies such as quantum computing, and he's looking for the best talent available,” Barbini said.
“His eagerness to increase our talent base is a sign of optimism in the long-term strategy of IBM,” Barbini said.
Adashek previously served as global communications lead for the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance.
Former Ford exec Day (who is now with Stagwell Group) not only overhauled the company's communications function but also its longstanding PR agency relationships, with IBM bringing in Weber Shandwick to lead its global PR agency lineup.
Day’s appointment followed the retirement of chief brand officer Jon Iwata, the influential leader who spent 34 years with the company and recently took on a senior advisory role with Ogilvy. He also was named the inaugural Ogilvy Fellow at the Center for Customer Insights at Yale School of Management, which focuses on the heightened importance of companies engaging with all stakeholders.
Day’s predecessor as CCO, Whitehouse, spent just a year in the job.