OAKLAND, CA: Robb Henshaw, the former communications lead for Cisco’s IoT business unit, has joined digital currency company Reserve as CMO.
Reporting to CEO Nevin Freeman, Henshaw is the early stage startup’s first full-time marketing comms hire. He’s based in Oakland, California, and he officially started on November 19.
Henshaw’s responsibilities include managing Reserve’s marketing strategy, content marketing, PR, comms, social, public engagement, and growth marketing.
Mandy Edmund, partner and COO at Swing Talent, recruited Henshaw for this position, he said.
Reserve wants to build a digital currency that can be offered to people in countries with volatile economies that are prone to inflation, Henshaw said.
Unlike cryptocurrencies, Reserve doesn’t suffer from the extreme highs and lows that come with speculative assets, such as Bitcoin, explained Henshaw. A "stable coin project," Reserve has "real world value," because its value is based on the U.S. dollar and "other stable fiat money," he said. In the future, Reserve will attach its value to other traditional currencies.
Joining Reserve made sense for Henshaw because he would be doing "something difficult, something necessary, and something inevitable," he said. He added it’s a "foregone conclusion" that a true global digital currency will be developed, representing both a common good for people in developing countries as well as a lucrative financial opportunity for the creators.
"A lot of people are trying to solve the problem [of creating a true global digital currency]," Henshaw said. "But I met with Reserve’s founding team and they have a unique pedigree, approaching this not from the standpoint of building interesting tech or having an [initial coin offering] to get rich quick. They want to improve [people’s] quality of life."
Reserve has raised $5 million in seed funding from PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, Y Combinator president Sam Altman, and digital currency exchange Coinbase.
Over the course of his career, Henshaw has overseen marketing comms at five startups, three of which have been acquired, according to his website bio.
Henshaw became head of global comms for Cisco’s IoT business after his previous company, Jasper, was acquired for $1.4 billion in 2016. He was the comms chief at Jasper.
Prior to that, Henshaw the VP of marketing and comms at marketing technology company inPowered.
Previously, he was VP of communications for tech startup GetGoing, global director of corporate communications at SugarSync, and senior director of global marketing and communications for Proxim Wireless.