Chewy hires Diane Pelkey as comms head

Pelkey previously headed comms for Under Armour.

Diane Pelkey is Chewy's comms head.
Diane Pelkey is Chewy's comms head.

DANIA BEACH, FL: Online pet product retailer Chewy has hired former Under Armour comms head Diane Pelkey as head of comms and PR.

Pelkey started in the newly created role of VP of comms and PR on March 3, almost immediately after leaving her position as SVP of global brand communications at Under Armour

She reports directly to Chewy CEO Sumit Singh and leads all comms functions at the company, including corporate, brand and internal communications.

Pelkey oversees five staffers right now, but said she will soon be hiring.

“It’s an amazing opportunity to help build the comms function at an innovative growth company,” she said.

Building the team was part of the job’s attraction, as was the chance to work with Singh.

Since joining, Pelkey has helped to promote the company’s charitable efforts -- Chewy is supporting pet charities across the country -- and coordinated media relations around the company’s recent earnings release. 

She said the company is also focusing strongly on employee communications around pandemic-related issues, such as benefits, health protection measures and operations during the lockdown.  

Chewy has seen an increase in sales volume from both long-time pet owners and people who have adopted or purchased pets amid the pandemic, Singh said in a recent CNBC interview.

Pelkey joined Under Armour as VP of comms and entertainment in 2007 and left not long after Under Armour SVP of corporate communications Kelley McCormick left last September.

Before Under Armour, Pelkey spent five years as director of global PR at Reebok and five years as Adidas’ director of comms. She has been featured on PRWeek’s  2015 and 2016 Power Lists.

On April 2, Chewy reported that for the 2019 fiscal year, net sales grew 40%, compared to the same period a year prior, to $4.85 billion. However, for the same period, the company experienced a net loss of $252.4 million. Chewy is an independent subsidiary of PetSmart.

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