IBM hires CA Technologies veteran Saswato Das to lead corporate comms

The tech giant has also appointed a VP of IBM West communications and a Content Hub VP.

ARMONK, NY: IBM has hired Saswato Das as VP of corporate communications, effective August 13.

Das will report to IBM chief communications officer Ray Day. Das will lead the team responsible for developing and telling the IBM corporate story, with a focus on senior leader positioning, financial and policy communications, transformation and operations communications, and strategic and executive communications, the tech company said in a statement.

Das will join IBM from Swiss power and automation company Asea Brown Boveri, where he was head of external communications and content. Previously, he was corporate communications leader at CA Technologies, and head of corporate thought leadership and VP of global corporate affairs at SAP.

IBM has also hired Maria Poveromo as VP of IBM West communications, effective July 3. She will report to Bevin Maguire, VP of clients, markets, and industry communications. She will join IBM from Adobe, where she led communications as VP of global communications.

John Foley joined IBM’s comms team as VP of its Content Hub. He is leading IBM’s in-house team, which focuses on "telling the IBM story through strategic planning and content development, asset creation, and the use of data and analytics," according to a statement. Foley is reporting to Steve Tomasco, VP of IBM Content Hub and enterprise storytelling.

Anne Marie Squeo was the last person to hold the corporate comms VP role at IBM. The position has been open since earlier this year, when Squeo moved into another role as VP of Watson, cloud, and technology communications, Day said. The other two roles are new, he added.

The hires followed IBM’s decision to bring on Weber Shandwick as its global anchor agency, supporting the technology giant worldwide across its business sectors, in early May. Weber is working with the IBM Watson Content Hub, IBM’s newsroom, stakeholder engagement, major events, forums, and metrics.

IBM also brought on SKDKnickerbocker to help with its narrative, strategy development, and IBM citizenship; Spectrum Science to support the company on Watson Health and thought leadership; and Civic Entertainment Group to handle citizenship and influencer initiatives.

The firms were selected following a competitive review that kicked off in March. Day called the global agency review, inviting all of IBM’s 20 agency partners to pitch, including incumbents Text100 and Ketchum, which had worked with the company for 17 years. Text100 decided not to pitch, while Ketchum participated in the initial written stage but did not advance to the next round.

Day said at the time that he has three strategic objectives for IBM’s comms and citizenship teams: to improve reputation among all stakeholders; build brand favorability and product consideration; and expand communication capability and expertise.

Day, former Ford Motor comms lead, joined IBM last December, succeeding marketing and communications executive Jon Iwata, who worked at the company for 34 years.

In March, IBM brought on Edelman's Erin Roche as VP of communications for systems and Collective Intelligence’s Kevin McDermott as VP of strategic and executive communications, plus two other execs. David Yaun is set to exit his role as VP of corporate communications for thought leadership and content strategy at IBM at the end of October.

IBM reported better-than-expected earnings in the first quarter after 22 straight quarters of declining revenue, beating analyst expectations.

This story was updated on June 26 with additional information and on June 27 to correct Yaun's departure date.

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