MALMÖ – Oat drink company Oatly has appointed Brendan Lewis as its first executive vice president for global communications and public affairs.

Lewis has two decades of experience with fast-growth companies and most recently served as North American head of communications for fintech giant Klarna. He has also held senior communications and public affairs roles with luggage brand Away, food delivery app Grubhub, venture fund and start-up studio Expa, and technology companies Foursquare and Shazam.

Based in the US, Lewis will oversee all Oatly’s communications across North America, APAC and EMEA, including public relations, public affairs and social media.

At the same time, the Sweden-based firm has made another senior comms hire, appointing Lucy Hopkins-Parkinson as its first UK head of communications. Hopkins-Parkinson was previously director of communications at international non-profit Girl Effect, which creates media and content for young women.

The appointments come as Oatly moves into the next phase of global growth after its 2021 IPO, which valued the company at $10 billion; over the past year it has also opened three new manufacturing facilities and expanded its product range, which includes oat-based alternatives to milks, ice cream, yogurt, cooking creams and spreads.

Lewis’ initial focus will be on further integrating Oatly’s communications with its creative function, to create a more unified and global approach. He will report to chief creative officer John Schoolcraft, who has been pivotal in driving the brand to become a global player in the plant-based movement.

Schoolcraft said: “Brendan has diverse and deep experience, and an incredible track record of leading world class communications in category-defining companies. His inherent, natural approach to communications is perfectly matched to what we have created at Oatly, and he will help us continue to amplify our unique voice as we continue to accelerate our growth around the world.”

Lewis added: “I am thrilled to be joining such an amazing company with creativity at its heart and thankful for the opportunity to lead a team of such talented, dedicated and passionate people. Oatly is a beloved brand and I look forward to working with my colleagues to help our company deliver on our mission to make the planet a better place.”