IBM hires Natalie Kerris as VP of technology, AI, and Watson comms

Kerris is a veteran of Apple and Twitter.

Natalie Kerris
Natalie Kerris

ARMONK, NY: IBM has hired Apple and Twitter communications vet Natalie Kerris as VP of technology, AI, and Watson communications,

Kerris joined IBM this week. She reports to chief comms officer Ray Day, according to a memo shared with PRWeek.

"[Kerris] has deep technology industry and communications experience and is well known for her 14 years at Apple, where she served in a variety of senior communications roles," the memo said.

Kerris was not immediately available for comment.

Over the past few years, Kerris has held a number of roles for short periods of time.

She handled brand marketing for Oracle after a short stint as Edelman’s global chair of technology that ended in September 2017. Her LinkedIn doesn’t mention either positions, but it does say she was the founder of Lingo Comms, "a brand marketing consultant and advisory board member for innovative technology clients."

Before that, Kerris was VP of global comms at Twitter for about six months. There, she led a 100-person function in comms and public policy at a critical time when co-founder Jack Dorsey returned as CEO, according to her LinkedIn profile.

However, Kerris is best known in tech circles for her 14-year tenure at Apple. Her last position at the tech giant was head of worldwide corporate comms.

During her Apple career, Kerris supported the launch of the iPod, iTunes, iPhone, App Store, iPad, MacBook Air, Apple Pay, and Apple Watch. She worked directly with former CEO and cofounder Steve Jobs, CEO Tim Cook, and chief design officer Jonathan Ive.

The IBM memo said she "also was the Apple lead in the announcement of the strategic partnership with IBM in 2014," which aimed to usher in a new class of apps that would "transform enterprise mobility."

Kerris exited Apple after the company named Steve Dowling its new comms leader.

Changes have been occurring at IBM comms for the past two years, starting with the retirement of Jon Iwata, SVP of comms and chief brand officer. Day, the former Ford comms chief, replaced Iwata and brought on a whole new slate of in-house staffers. He also revamped its global roster last year, adding Weber Shandwick as its global anchor agency, as well as SKDKnickerbocker, Spectrum Science Communications, and Civic Entertainment Group.

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