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Three members of Apple's PR team have left for car companies

Three members of Apple's PR team have left for car companies


From Apple to Tesla and Ford

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Three members of Apple’s communications staff have left the tech giant for car companies in recent weeks, just as reports have emerged that Apple has scaled back its auto-making plans.

Last month longtime Apple staffer Sarah O’Brien joined Tesla as senior director of communications. While at Apple, O’Brien had worked on the communications teams for music, iPhone, and most recently, Apple Watch.

More recently, Colin Smith, who had been communications director of Mac hardware, software, and professional apps for seven years, jumped ship to join Ford Silicon Valley, which includes Ford Smart Mobility LLC and the company’s growing research and innovation center. Smith’s role is being described as a kind of hybrid communications and business development role.

And another Apple comms staffer, Michaela Johndrow, is joining Ford in Michigan, where she’ll manage communications around electrified vehicles for Ford North America.

This kind of turnover in tech communications certainly isn’t unprecedented, but points to a growing interest on the part of automakers to staff up with people with expertise and connections within the tech sector.