SAN FRANCISCO: Twitter’s Brielle Villablanca is joining fintech startup SoFi as head of corporate comms on August 6.
Reporting to another Twitter alum, Jim Prosser, who is VP of comms and policy at SoFi, Villablanca is the company’s first corporate communications hire. In 2017, SoFi hired Danika Owsley as head of consumer comms.
Villablanca will be based in San Francisco. In the meantime, she’s wrapping up her tenure at Twitter, where she is corporate comms lead.
"The intersection between tech and finance is rapidly changing, and SoFi is well positioned to continue leading the way," she told PRWeek via email. "I'm inspired by the mission to help members accomplish their financial goals, and excited to help shape and tell SoFi's story."
Villablanca’s remit includes finances, capital market performance issues, reputation, and executive comms, Prosser said.
"Bringing [Villablanca] aboard gives me greater latitude to manage the team, as we work with SoFi executives to get the bigger picture of the company out there," he explained.
SoFi’s growth necessitated that additional comms staffers be brought on to support all its functions, said Prosser. The startup now employs 1,400 people and boasts a suite of products beyond its core lending business, including life insurance. It now has five in-house comms staffers. The comany relies upon OutCast Agency for consumer support, and it has no plans at the moment to hire a corporate firm, Prosser said.
SoFi’s last funding round was in February 2017, in which it raised $500 million, giving it a $4.3 billion valuation.
The head of corp comms position was posted around February this year. Talks with Villablanca about the opportunity began shortly after, Prosser said. She was chosen from among several hundred applicants.
Villablanca announced her career move in a tweet.
As for what's next for me – I'm joining @SoFi as head of corporate communications. The intersection between tech and finance is rapidly changing, and SoFi is leading the way. Excited to help shape and tell their story!— Brielle Villablanca (@brielle) July 16, 2018
Twitter’s comms function has been racked with turnover over the past two years. Recently, comms chief Kristin Binns exited Twitter to join Activision Blizzard as SVP and chief comms officer. Earlier this year, Twitter’s head of global policy communications, Emily Horne, joined Brookings Institution as VP of comms.
In February, Twitter hired Ancestry’s Brandon Borrman as VP of global comms and Facebook’s Brad Ramsey as VP of marketing.
The same year Prosser exited Twitter, 2016, also saw the departure of VP of global comms Natalie Kerris.