Top global marketing executive to depart Apple

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 26
    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.
  • Reply 2 of 26
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 26
    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?
  • Reply 4 of 26
    sipsip Posts: 210member
    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.
  • Reply 5 of 26
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 26
    shobizshobiz Posts: 207member
    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.
  • Reply 7 of 26
    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.
  • Reply 8 of 26
    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."
  • Reply 9 of 26
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,408member
    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.
  • Reply 10 of 26
    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:-)
  • Reply 11 of 26
    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.
  • Reply 12 of 26
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    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.
  • Reply 13 of 26
    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.
  • Reply 14 of 26
    @sip

    Truer words have never been spoken.
  • Reply 15 of 26
    A little change/recharge in the team blood IMHO is a good thing.
  • Reply 16 of 26
    mactacmactac Posts: 315member
    Maybe she got tired of waiting to market the xMac.
  • Reply 17 of 26
    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).
  • Reply 18 of 26
    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!!
  • Reply 19 of 26
    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?
  • Reply 20 of 26
    rybryb Posts: 56member
    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.
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