NEW YORK: American Express has hired The We Company’s comms head Jennifer Skyler as chief corporate affairs officer, according to a statement from the credit card company.
Skyler starts at American Express on October 28. A member of American Express’ executive committee, she reports to chairman and CEO Stephen Squeri.
In this role, Skyler will replace Mike O’Neill, who announced his retirement in March this year. She will be responsible for internal, external, social media, corporate social responsibility and reputation risk management.
O’Neill will stay on with American Express until the end of 2019 to make sure the transition is seamless, Squeri said in a statement.
Most recently, Skyler served as chief communications officer at The We Company, owner of the co-working startup WeWork. After joining in 2015 as its first-ever comms hire, Skyler helped build a team that oversaw comms, government relations and corporate social responsibility.
In January, WeWork rebranded to The We Company, which was made up of three business lines: WeWork, residential business WeLive and WeGrow, which specializes in education.
Prior to that, Skyler spearheaded the consumer comms group at Facebook in the run up to its IPO in 2012. The team was comprised of comms pros and data scientists, according to the American Express statement.
"As someone who helped to establish global recognition for two of the business world’s fastest-growing companies, she has a great appreciation of the entrepreneurial culture that is so critically important in today’s marketplace," Squeri said in the statement.
Skyler started her career in journalism, helping the CNN team cover the White House as a producer during the George W. Bush Administration. She also had stints at NBC News and CBS Evening News, the latter of which earned her plaudits for political producing, American Express said.
The We Company’s planned IPO will proceed despite the misgivings of its biggest investor, SoftBank, the chilly reception from the investors and a valuation cut, according to CNBC. The IPO could kick off as soon as Monday.
The company may slash its valuation to $15 billion-$20 billion, less than half of the $47 billion valuation SoftBank gave the startup in January, according to Reuters and the Financial Times.
Almost a dozen of The We Company’s top HR executives have "left in the past year or are in the process of leaving," according to The Information. At least two former HR execs filed sexual harassment allegations against the company.