MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA: Self-driving car company Waymo has hired Suzanne Philion as its global head of communications.
Based in Mountain View, California, Philion started at the company in November and reports to Tekedra Mawakana, the chief external relations officer. Mawakana, who has been with Waymo since 2017, previously served as the company’s VP and global head of policy.
In her role, Philion oversees PR and internal comms efforts. She has followed Waymo since its days as Google’s self-driving car project, she told PRWeek via email. The unit was spun off from Google as a standalone Alphabet company in 2016.
"When [Mawakana] reached out to explore the role with me, it was a no brainer to join this brilliant team as we leverage all that we’ve learned from driving 10 million miles on public roads across 25 cities and 7 billion simulated miles to help as many people benefit from this technology as possible," Philion said.
Waymo recently announced its commercial self-driving service, Waymo One, which is launching in the metro Phoenix area. Philion said Waymo wants to expand this service.
"Our communications team is focused on continuing to share the story of how we’re building the world’s most experienced driver, and how self-driving technology will make the roads safer and easier for everyone to navigate," Philion said via email.
Most recently, Philion served as VP of corporate comms at Oath, which was formed after Verizon merged AOL and Yahoo. She exited that position in March 2018, according to her LinkedIn profile. Prior to that, Philion was senior director of corporate comms at Yahoo.
During her time in the public sphere, Philion had a number of standout assignments and roles. She served at the U.S. Department of State for almost 11 years in a variety of roles, including public diplomacy officer and information officer.
At the Bureau of Education & Cultural Affairs under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Philion was involved in an assignment that freed a group of hostages held by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia.