Spire Global hires James Pearson as comms head

Pearson has also worked at Shazam and Grooveshark.

SAN FRANCISCO: Spire Global has hired former Shazam executive James Pearson to lead global PR and strategic communications, effective August 20.

The global head of comms position is newly created. Pearson is reporting to Nick Allain, head of brand at Spire, which operates a fleet of remote sensing satellites and uses proprietary satellite data and algorithms to provide maritime, aviation, and weather tracking.

Pearson is relocating from New York to San Francisco, where he will be permanently based with Spire’s marketing team. Four people make up the marketing team at Spire, said Pearson.

Initially, Pearson will spend one week at each of Spire’s offices in Luxembourg, Glasgow, Singapore, and Boulder, Colorado.

Before Pearson’s hire, Allain and an internal team handled global comms with agencies. Pearson declined to comment on Spire’s agency relationships.

Pearson will work with Allain to evolve the company’s PR strategy and develop plans for Spire’s corporate communications, as well as general public affairs, external communications, and Spire’s partnerships.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime chance in terms of defining or recreating a sector," said Pearson. "The way people view commercial aerospace, it is about taking a great story and telling it on a much larger scale, even though it already has global exposure."

NASA said earlier this month that it will pursue contracts to purchase commercial data from Spire. The company was recently named to Forbes’ Next Billion Dollar Startups list.

Spire has quadrupled its corporate marketing budget for 2018 growth, Pearson added.

"I genuinely believe it's my last job," said Pearson. "I want to retire in a Spire jersey. In all seriousness, they're building a team of best-in-class practitioners. I can say first-hand their diligent recruitment process is comparable to joining a launch team."

Last February, Pearson joined Membit, an early stage app combining photo-sharing and augmented reality technology, as chief communications officer in an advisory capacity. In addition to advising Membit, Pearson joined relocation tech startup Updater last August as its first PR head.

Pearson departed Shazam, where he served as VP of global communications, in early 2017. Previously, he was EVP of corporate comms at music-streaming site Grooveshark.

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