Weber Shandwick's Ian Cohen named global content, innovation lead at PayPal

He is the third major hire for PayPal's comms team in the past 18 months.

SAN JOSE, CA: PayPal has hired Ian Cohen as senior director and head of global content innovation and creation.

In the newly created role, Cohen is reporting to Megan Matthews, VP of communications, and working across PayPal’s family of brands and both the merchant and consumer businesses. His team is being developed. Cohen joined PayPal on November 26.

Cohen will be focused on building a direction for storytelling across PayPal’s channels and on creating an "always-on news and content organization within the corporate affairs function for PayPal to be a credible source of information," said Matthews.

Before joining PayPal, Cohen worked at Weber Shandwick for nearly eight years, most recently as global executive producer and president of content creation and innovation. He was also a PRWeek 40 Under 40 honoree in 2014.

"[Cohen] brought incredible vision and passion to our integrated media capabilities at Weber Shandwick and we thank him for his many contributions," Weber Shandwick president Gail Heimann told PRWeek via email. "The GoLive offering he helped create continues to grow and produce live shows that move minds, reputation, and business for organizations around the world."

She added that GoLive cofounder George Snell and Marissa Sweazy will continue to oversee the team for Weber's live content offer.

"[Cohen] has a rare balance of understanding the news cycle and creating content that impacts a company’s business objectives," said Matthews. "We are excited about changing what PayPal does and helping the whole comms sector to evolve. [Cohen] is a great person to help do that."

Cohen is the third major hire for PayPal’s comms team in the past year and a half. Matthews joined the company in October 2017, and Myriam Lhermurier was hired last February as senior director and head of international communications. Matthews and Lhermurier both report to SVP of corporate affairs and communications Franz Paasche.

Matthews is responsible for global strategic communications and engagement for PayPal’s merchant and consumer businesses, including its brands Braintree, Venmo, Xoom, and Hyperwallet. This includes responsibility for North America communications.

Lhermurier is responsible for the international communications activities of PayPal outside of North America; defining strategies and priorities, managing country PR leads, agencies, and regional budgets.

"We are all interested and excited about the mission of PayPal and cultivating new and young talent," Matthews said of the new hires. "As we look at how we are evolving reputation, using comms content is something that would benefit the company, customers, partners, and also gives an interesting runway for our comms practitioners to evolve and grow."

PayPal’s marketing team, which functions separately from its comms team, hired Allison Johnson as EVP and CMO this month, reviving a post that it last filled in 2013.

Last July, Pablo Rodriguez left his role as senior director of global consumer communications after five years at PayPal to join JP Morgan Chase as MD and head of communications for digital and technology. Following PayPal’s split from eBay in July 2015, Rodriguez led comms for PayPal’s first major marketing initiative as an independent company: the New Money global brand campaign, which included the company’s first Super Bowl ad.

Editor's note: This story was updated with comment from Heimann on January 28, 2019, and on January 29 to correct job titles and responsibilitites.

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