IRVINE, CA — Gearing up to launch its long-awaited truck and SUV, electric vehicle startup Rivian continues to build out its comms function, most recently hiring Laura Weston and Kenya Friend-Daniel for new international and corporate communications roles respectively

As international communications director, Weston will be based in the UK, covering markets outside the US. She brings to the role more than 20 years of experience that included most recently consulting Danish tech startup Too Good to Go during its expansion. Before that, she was managing director of London agency Iris Culture.

Friend-Daniel (pictured) will be based in California and support the full range of corporate activities including leading the car brand's B2B partnerships.  Rivian has a contract to produce 100,000 delivery vans for Amazon, which is one of its investors. Friend-Daniel reports to corporate comms head Amy Mast.

She joins Rivian from Trader Joe’s, where she was the national director of public relations. Prior to that, she led internal communications for Nestlé’s finance team, and served on the corporate communications team for Mattel.

“It’s exciting to welcome both Laura and Kenya to the team,” said global comms head Nick Mulholland. “Laura and I have worked together in the past and I know that she will bring both strong strategic knowledge of how to develop our global communications plans as well as an innovative and creative approach to activation.  Kenya has outstanding experience in corporate communications across a broad range of sectors which will provide us with a depth of understanding that will be integral for our team.”

Hiring Weston and Friend-Daniel is the latest in a series of steps Rivian has taken over the last six months to build a robust communications team.

In June, Harry Porter came onboard as director of corporate affairs. He joined from Bird, the electric scooter sharing company, where he oversaw communications in EMEA. Mulholland, a former Freuds managing director, was hired to lead and expand the team in March.

In July, Reuters reported that Rivian is going to invest $5 billion in building a second US assembly plant, targeted to open in 2023.  Less than two weeks earlier, the company announced it would be pushing back deliveries of its pickup truck and SUV from July September due to production problems caused by the Covid pandemic.