Apple marketing VP Allison Johnson leaving to co-found own agency

“Allison Johnson, who has served as Apple’s vice president of worldwide marketing communications since 2005, is leaving the company, according to several sources,” John Paczkowski reports for AllThingsD. “The reason? To co-found a new marketing and communications firm with another Silicon Valley communications luminary, Former Facebook PR exec Brandee Barker.”

“At Apple, Johnson has managed global advertising for some of the company’s most revolutionary products and the iconic ads for them,” Paczkowski reports. “Those ads have been created by TBWA\Chiat\Day, which plays a powerful role at Apple.”

Paczkowski reports, “Of course, this key part of Apple’s business is watched over closely by CEO Steve Jobs, to whom Johnson has reported directly.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Many years ago, Jobs let the marketing vp have too much power. Likely she was tasked with carrying out the vision of Jobs, Chiat/Day, and perhaps Ive. Jobs does not even allow market research, and believes that companies built by product people can be ruined if turned over to marketing people.

  2. This is not good. The flood of executives leaving Apple on a weekly basis does not bode well for the future of Apple. Executives do NOT leave a company when things are going smoothly and when they are happy and when there is a clear vision for the future.

    1. You should change your handle to Surly Curmudgeon or Nervous Nellie.

      People leave all the time. What’s remarkable is how many of Apple’s Exec team do not leave. PR marketing execs are not critical to the Exec team. Now, Bertrand Serlet was a loss, but he had been with Steve over 20 years!

  3. I’d say the most important part of this article is:

    “Those ads have been created by TBWA\Chiat\Day, which plays a powerful role at Apple.”

    Being in Marketing and working at Apple must suck, since the creativity end of it is handled by TBWA. She probably managed the pricing and timelines or something.

    I’ve been at many companies where a top marketing person left, and the employees made a big deal about it… For a week or so. Then everyone would realize it was the graphic designers that came up with most of the stuff anyways. It’s the type of thing where the job vacancy doesn’t even get filled right away because the job was redundant in the first place.

    She’s probably hoping to flaunt the fact that she came from Apple, and she probably knows John Paczkowski from AllThingsD pretty good, who wrote the story to get her some publicity.

  4. I agree with MacBill. Apple – in it’s latest incarnation – has done nothing to dispel the image that it’s company and leader are on in the same. The fact is exacerbated when stockholders are given no clear line of succession. Apple’s greatest strength is also it’s greatest flaw.

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