Aarti Shah 11 Feb 2013 // 12:00AM GMT
SAN FRANCISCO — Tech PR veterans Brandee Barker Sean Garrett and Brian O'Shaughnessy have banded together to launch a new communications, marketing and branding consultancy.
The development follows the departure of O'Shaughnessy from his role as Skype's head of global communications in December 2012, after a four-year stint with the company. Skype has moved to fill the vacancy by hiring former Yahoo executive Eric Brown.
The new agency venture, which is still under wraps, is expected to focus on strategic consultancy rather than tactical PR. The trio are currently understood to be developing the firm's service portfolio, with industry sources expecting the offering to become official within the next few weeks. It is also unclear if the trio's current clients will become part of the new firm.
Barker’s next move has been the subject of speculation after she left her role as Facebook PR director in late 2010. Since then, she has consulted for various startups, including AirBnB, Groupon and Spotify. According to an industry source, Barker has scaled back her consulting to focus on building the new venture. She is also currently involved with Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's new book Lean In.
Garrett, meanwhile, departed his VP of comms position at Twitter in November 2011, and has since been advising venture capital firm Greylock Partners.
At Skype, former Yahoo global comms VP Brown has been named GM of integrated communications. He told the Holmes Report that the new title varies from O'Shaughnessy's to reflect a “broader and more integrated” communications focus across PR, social media, executive communications and employee engagement.
Last fall, Brown had a four-month stint at Pandora after departing Yahoo just as Marissa Meyer took charge of the company. This is the third time Brown has joined a company reporting into Elisa Steele, who became Skype CMO in 2012. Previously, Brown reported into Steele at NetApp and Yahoo.