IBM snags HP, Disney veteran Michael Mendenhall as Watson marcomms lead

Mendenhall's first day in the role will be Monday. He'll report to David Kenny, SVP of IBM's Watson and cloud platform.

Michael Mendenhall
Michael Mendenhall

SAN FRANCISCO: Former Hewlett-Packard and Disney marcomms executive Michael Mendenhall has joined IBM as CMO and chief communications officer for the Watson division and cloud platform, the company said Friday.

Based in San Francisco, Mendenhall’s first day in the role will be Monday. He will report to David Kenny, SVP of IBM’s Watson and cloud platform, with a dotted line to IBM CMO Michelle Peluso.

Mendenhall will be responsible for the global marketing, branding, and communications for IBM’s Watson division and cloud platform, working to establish it as the premier cloud and AI platform for business, an IBM representative said via email.

Watson's portfolio of products and services includes: Watson cognitive platform, The Weather Company, Watson Marketing Analytics, and Watson Data platform.

Mendenhall was not immediately available for comment.

He is joining IBM from logistics and supply chain technology company Flex, where he served as CMO and chief communications officer since October 2014, according to his LinkedIn profile. Previously, he had a short stint at Fusion.io as EVP and chief marketing and communications officer. The company was acquired by SanDisk in 2014.

Mendenhall has also served as president and COO of Lipman, a lifestyle and fashion advertising agency, and CMO of Hewlett-Packard. He also spent 17 years at Walt Disney in roles including president of marketing and synergy for Walt Disney Studios and EVP of global marketing for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

IBM’s revenue fell 2.8% in the first quarter of this year to $18.2 billion, missing analysts’ expectations. Net income dropped to $1.8 billion in the period.

Last month, the company hired Anne Marie Squeo, a recent veteran of Netflix, as corporate communications VP, reporting to Jon Iwata, SVP of marketing, communications, and citizenship.

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