Soho House names global comms chief

Global private members' club group Soho House has hired Samsung Electronics’ comms chief Anouska Ruane as global director of group communications, PRWeek has learned.

Anouska Ruane previously worked for Samsung, Tesla and Facebook
Anouska Ruane previously worked for Samsung, Tesla and Facebook

Anouska Ruane's appointment comes as Soho House faces the challenges of reopening its estate amid the disruption caused by COVID-19.

It is still planning to float on the New York Stock Exchange later this year, in a move that would reportedly value the firm at more than $3bn.

In the new role, based in London, Ruane will be responsible for all external and internal comms for what is now considered one of the world’s leading luxury hospitality brands.

She reports to both Soho House founder Nick Jones and president Andrew Carnie, the retail expert who started working with the group full time at the end of last year.

Ruane replaces Peter Chipchase in the top comms role at the group, which operates 29 'Houses' at the time of writing. Chipchase left the private members' club operator last September, later joining fashion house Stella McCartney as chief marketing officer.

Since then Isabel May, formerly CMO of David Beckham ventures and Burberry’s director of comms for EMEIA, has been managing the role on an interim basis, working with Jones. Former Freuds staffer May, who is also a friend of Meghan Markle, will shortly hand over to Ruane, having helped with the transition period after Chipchase’s departure.

Ruane leaves after 18 months at tech giant Samsung, where she was director of communications and events for Europe. She was previously EMEA comms director at Tesla, and before that led communications for Facebook across the UK, Ireland and Africa.

She says her focus will be on telling Soho House group's growth story, launching new sites in the UK and overseas, and rolling out digital platforms and new membership offerings.

Raising the profile of the group's ever-expanding international portfolio – Soho Home, Soho Works, Restaurants and Spas – and supporting its diversity and inclusion measures will also fall in Ruane's remit, alongside building a global comms team.

The experienced Ruane's other previous roles include director of corporate comms, EMEA, at the Walt Disney Company, and Xbox head of brand and corporate reputation in the region.

In March, she was included in PRWeek's 2021 Power Book list of the top 20 most influential UK comms professionals in telecoms, media and technology.

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