SAN FRANCISCO: Online lending marketplace Lending Club has poached Kabam’s Steve Swasey to fill the newly created role of SVP, corporate communications.
Swasey started in the post on Tuesday and reports to Lending Club founder and CEO Renaud Laplanche. The number of employees he will oversee is still to be determined.
He is tasked with leading all external comms, including media relations, social media, and working with the investor relations team. Swasey will also oversee internal comms, partnering with the company’s HR department.
Swasey’s role was created roughly one year after Lending Club’s blockbuster IPO, which valued the company at more than $8 billion. He also noted that Lending Club turns 10 this year.
"[Laplanche] is interested in raising the profile of the company and having it become a more consumer-oriented brand," said Swasey of why the position was created. "He wants to raise the overall level of the comms function."
Last month, Swasey left Kabam after nearly four years at the mobile game developer. His exit came a little more than five months after he was promoted to his most recent position as SVP and head of global corporate communications amid a corporate strategy shift to "fewer, bigger, bolder" products.
"I was challenged and content at Kabam and I have great admiration and respect for Kabam CEO Kevin Chou," said Swasey. "But, bottom line, [the role at Lending Club] is a bigger job at a bigger, public company, reporting to the CEO."
Before joining Kabam, Swasey served as Netflix’s VP of corporate communications for seven years. Previously, he was director of corporate communications at Oracle's PeopleSoft; Tri Valley Growers’ director of PR and public affairs; and E&J Gallo Winery’s director of PR.
Earlier in his career, Swasey served as VP and management supervisor at Omnicom PR firm Ketchum.
"Just like we did at Netflix and Kabam, we want to make Lending Club an iconic brand and household name in America," said Swasey. "And this is very realistic because this company is growing exponentially; the product appeals to everybody."