SAN FRANCISCO: Pinterest’s SVP of marketing and communications, Barry Schnitt, is exiting the virtual pinboard company on January 3.
Schnitt told PRWeek that after more than five years at the company, he has made the "tough decision" to leave. Christine Schirmer, who previously oversaw consumer PR at Pinterest, will be head of PR after Schnitt’s departure. His marketing and creative responsibilities will be transferred to cofounder Evan Sharp.
"I’ve decided to go and figure it out," Schnitt said. "It’s a hard thing to figure out while you are running a team of 100 people and trying to make a startup into a global company."
Rather than go work at another startup, focusing all of his time and energy on a single company, Schnitt explained he wants to share what he has learned from his various roles at Google, Facebook, and Pinterest with companies, organizations, and causes.
"At each stop, I learned a lot from some great colleagues and by making more than a few mistakes," he said.
Schnitt also wants to help people who are starting their careers in communications.
"I got help along the way from some incredible mentors, and it’s definitely time to pay it forward," he noted. "Also, if you become a senior executive in your field and don’t do anything to send the elevator down for others, you’re kind of an asshole."
In his statement, Schnitt thanked Ben Silbermann, Pinterest's CEO and cofounder, for giving him the "opportunity of a lifetime" to work at Pinterest.
When Schnitt started at Pinterest as its first comms and marketing person, the company had two-dozen staffers. It has since grown to more than 1,000 staff.
"We are grateful for the invaluable contributions [Schnitt] made to our team, our culture, and our brand, and we wish him well," a Pinterest spokesperson told PRWeek via email.
Schnitt’s exit follows the recent departure of Pinterest president Tim Kendall. Earlier this month, Pinterest hired a new head of corporate and business development, Gary Johnson, who was most recently Facebook’s director of corporate development.
Before joining Pinterest in 2012, Schnitt was Facebook’s director of corporate comms and public policy. Earlier in his career, he was a senior manager of communications and public affairs at Google.
Editor’s note: This story was updated on December 20 to add comment from Pinterest.