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Top global marketing executive to depart Apple

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Apple's vice president of worldwide marketing communications -- a position that reports directly to CEO Steve Jobs -- is reportedly leaving the company.

Citing several sources, John Paczkowski of Digital Daily reported Thursday that Allison Johnson, who has been worldwide marketing VP at Apple since 2005, is set to depart. She apparently plans to co-found a marketing and communications firm with former Facebook public relations executive Brandee Barker.

Johnson is expected to leave Apple sometime before this summer. Both Barker and an Apple spokeswoman reportedly declined to comment.

"There's no dearth of marketing and communications talent at Apple, but Johnson's exit from the company is still notable," Paczkowski wrote.

Johnson joined Apple after managing public relations for rival computer maker Hewlett-Packard, where she handled press during the company's acquisition of Compaq. She was said to be one of the closest advisers to HP's then-CEO Carly Fiorina.

Johnson had previously worked for Apple in the '90s, and also held positions at IBM and Netscape Communications. She joined HP in 1999.

During her second stint at Apple, Johnson oversaw global advertising for "iconic ads" created by TBWA\\Chiat\\Day. TBWA were the minds behind Apple's "Think Different" campaign, the silhouette iPod advertisements, and the "Get a Mac" ads featuring actors John Hodgman as a PC and Justin Long as the Mac.
post #2 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


Johnson joined Apple after managing public relations for rival computer maker Hewlett-Packard, where she handled press during the company's acquisition of Compaq. She was said to be one of the closest advisers to HP's then-CEO Carly Fiorina.

Being one of Carly Fiorina's closest advisers during her HP days is not, IMHO, a very good way to represent yourself.
post #3 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by driver8 View Post

Being one of Carly Fiorina's closest advisers during her HP days is not, IMHO, a very good way to represent yourself.

I don't know how that comment even makes sense? Allison Johnson is obviously very successful and good at what she does.
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by driver8 View Post

Being one of Carly Fiorina's closest advisers during her HP days is not, IMHO, a very good way to represent yourself.

driver8, what the hell makes you such an authority on this subject?
post #5 of 27
Some lessons learned in 40 years of working life:

- No one is indispensable;

- People become stale after many years in the same job;

- People need new challenges;

- If you have enough money for early retirement, do it and enjoy the rest of your life.
post #6 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by driver8 View Post

Being one of Carly Fiorina's closest advisers during her HP days is not, IMHO, a very good way to represent yourself.

I agree with you.
post #7 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sip View Post

Some lessons learned in 40 years of working life:

- No one is indispensable;

- People become stale after many years in the same job;

- People need new challenges;

- If you have enough money for early retirement, do it and enjoy the rest of your life.

AMEN!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangeoutsider View Post

driver8, what the hell makes you such an authority on this subject?


If you own any Apple product you apparently automatically become an authority on anything and everything that currently or will exist.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangeoutsider View Post

driver8, what the hell makes you such an authority on this subject?

I missed where he said he was an authority... As I read the comment, it was merely an opinion.
post #9 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangeoutsider View Post

driver8, what the hell makes you such an authority on this subject?

When I read this article, my first thought was also that I probably wouldn't want to broadcast that I had been one of Fiorina's top advisers during her tenure at HP. As you may know, HP lost half of its market value under her reign, and Conde Nast Portfolio ranked her #19 in their list of the worst American CEOs of all time. http://www.cnbc.com/id/30502091?slide=3

Johnson's years at Apple make her look a lot better.

I'm guessing that driver8 reads the newspaper or something.

P.S. IMHO stands for "in my humble opinion."
post #10 of 27
Obviously, we not know if this fills in the larger story of Steve Jobs, or if it's a case of a restless employee moving on to be an owner... regardless, cheers to her.

Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

GOA

Reply
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sip View Post

Some lessons learned in 40 years of working life:

- No one is indispensable;

- People become stale after many years in the same job;

- People need new challenges;

- If you have enough money for early retirement, do it and enjoy the rest of your life.

This is excellent advice (particularly the last part). I intend to follow it:-)
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Orangeoutsider View Post

driver8, what the hell makes you such an authority on this subject?

I don't think you need to speak with many people who were working for HP during Fiorina's time to know that she was an awful CEO, and in my experience with a lot of companies, being a close associate of a hopeless leader is often, but not always, an indication that you yourself are not very good.

It seems in Allison Johnsons case that this is not the case.

Either way, it doesn't mean Driver8 isn't entitled to an opinion.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by sip View Post

Some lessons learned in 40 years of working life:

- No one is indispensable;

- People become stale after many years in the same job;

- People need new challenges;

- If you have enough money for early retirement, do it and enjoy the rest of your life.

I guess it kind of depends on your job and how much you enjoy it. I personally get a little anxious after a three week vacation and always happy to be back at work. When you retire, you better have things planned to keep you busy or you might find it really boring.

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad coffee.

Reply
post #14 of 27
This is unfortunate.

As much as Apple's product-centered strategy is responsible for their success, their iconic and distinctive advertising and marketing hasn't hurt either. To the extent she oversaw those efforts, it's not a positive for Apple (far from fatal, but certainly not a plus).

I wonder if the press will describe this as they have the recent departure of her counterpart at Microsoft. Although nominally similar (both negative signs for the company), I suspect that the perception will be different (no big deal for Apple, huge vote of no-confidence at Microsoft).

And, inconsistently, I agree with the perception at the same time that I believe this is actually a bigger blow than the Microsoft departure. Departure of a marketing head where the marketing is unmemorable vs. the departure of one with perhaps unmatched marketing should mean the latter is more important.
post #15 of 27
@sip
Truer words have never been spoken.
post #16 of 27
A little change/recharge in the team blood IMHO is a good thing.
post #17 of 27
Maybe she got tired of waiting to market the xMac.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by rare comment View Post

This is unfortunate.

As much as Apple's product-centered strategy is responsible for their success, their iconic and distinctive advertising and marketing hasn't hurt either. To the extent she oversaw those efforts, it's not a positive for Apple (far from fatal, but certainly not a plus).

I wonder if the press will describe this as they have the recent departure of her counterpart at Microsoft. Although nominally similar (both negative signs for the company), I suspect that the perception will be different (no big deal for Apple, huge vote of no-confidence at Microsoft).

And, inconsistently, I agree with the perception at the same time that I believe this is actually a bigger blow than the Microsoft departure. Departure of a marketing head where the marketing is unmemorable vs. the departure of one with perhaps unmatched marketing should mean the latter is more important.

Well I think the big warning sign for Microsoft is that they've lost a lot of their leadership in the past 6 months. Ray Ozzie, Robbie Bach, Steven Elop, J Allard and Bob Muglia led their divisions only to leave within months of each other.

The press is right to be more alarmed with yet another executive departure from Microsoft versus a couple at Apple (Bertrand Serlet and Allison Johnson).
post #19 of 27
Hey, has anyone seen the keys to the Reality Distortion Field? Anyone? Well, I HAVE looked everywhere! Who had them last? Who? Allison?? OMG - the bitch took it with her!!
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mister Snitch View Post

Hey, has anyone seen the keys to the Reality Distortion Field? Anyone? Well, I HAVE looked everywhere! Who had them last? Who? Allison?? OMG - the bitch took it with her!!

Oh come on. What has she done to you to deserve such an insult?
post #21 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

Oh come on. What has she done to you to deserve such an insult?

Not an insult, just a joke. I thought it was clever and in jest.
post #22 of 27
I believe this article to be grossly inaccurate. It appears that she is basically a PR person by background. Phil Schiller is the SVP of global product marketing and is the most significant player in the marketing dept. at apple. Her departure appears to not be a big deal. Further Chiat Day has been apple's agency from nearly the start and that relationship is not changing. You never even hear Allison's name mentioned.
post #23 of 27
deleted
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by ryb View Post

Not an insult, just a joke. I thought it was clever and in jest.

Well I may be in the minority but I feel that calling any woman a "bitch" is totally unacceptable, even as a joke. Especially if she's someone you don't even know. It was neither clever (it's been done so many times before) nor a jest (just like "nigger" isn't a jest).
post #25 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by FreeRange View Post

I believe this article to be grossly inaccurate. It appears that she is basically a PR person by background. Phil Schiller is the SVP of global product marketing and is the most significant player in the marketing dept. at apple. Her departure appears to not be a big deal. Further Chiat Day has been apple's agency from nearly the start and that relationship is not changing. You never even hear Allison's name mentioned.

Finally, someone who gets it.

If she is not quoted, she is irrelevant. She bounces around from company to company. She has no real commitment to a particular vision. That's unsurprising as high-tech PR is one of the most soulless careers on this planet.
post #26 of 27
A more insightful reading on the significance of this will come from the trade and business news media with whom Allison Johnson dealt directly. They have a better understanding of Apple's PR and marketing communications players and the importance of their respective roles and activities.

I admit to being a Fanatical Moderate. I Disdain the Inane. Vyizderzominymororzizazizdenderizorziz?

Reply

I admit to being a Fanatical Moderate. I Disdain the Inane. Vyizderzominymororzizazizdenderizorziz?

Reply
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ecphorizer View Post

(just like "nigger" isn't a jest).

Not to get racial, but don't African Americans call each other that? I mean no offense what so ever, I'm just pointing out observations...

Apparently, it's not a 'slur' anymore. It's what you call your best friend.

Seriously, no offense!
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