Forbes hires Bill Hankes for top comms position

Matthew Hutchison left the Forbes CCO position in May for Dow Jones.

Hankes also ran advisory firm Hankes Communications and served as a senior PR consultant for Waters Agency.
Hankes also ran advisory firm Hankes Communications and served as a senior PR consultant for Waters Agency.

SEATTLE: Forbes has appointed Bill Hankes as chief communications officer, effective on Monday.

Based in Seattle with plans to frequently visit New York, he is reporting to Forbes CEO Mike Federle.

Hankes is responsible for the business publication’s integrated global corporate communications strategy. Supervising four staff members, he’ll work closely with the editorial, human resources, marketing, product, sales and technology teams to ensure that external and internal messaging supports Forbes’ brand and business objectives.

Matthew Hutchison left the Forbes CCO position in May to lead comms at Dow Jones.

“Forbes has had three record years and is growing rapidly, so communications will be key to help support that global growth,” Hankes said. 

The brand will also leverage communications to support businesses and entrepreneurs, as well as employees coming back to work. Hankes will also work to enhance communications to bolster a strong, positive workplace environment.

Forbes is also planning to leverage Hankes’ background as an entrepreneur. He comes from Sqoop, a news service he founded in 2013. For both journalists and PR professionals, the company provided tips from public records, press releases and expert sources,

“I think of the newsroom as the heart and soul of any news organization,” said Hankes. “So I’ll be looking forward to supporting our newsroom efforts.” That means meeting Forbes’ audiences where they are via its eight annual print issues and online, he added. 

Before coming to Forbes, he also ran advisory firm Hankes Communications and served as a senior PR consultant for Waters Agency. 

In April, Forbes was reportedly in talks to go public via a special purpose acquisition company, according to Reuters, which reported that Forbes was also considering private offers, including a $700 million one from Borderless Services. Hong Kong-based investor group Integrated Whale Media Investments owns 95% of the company, with the remainder owned by the Forbes family. 

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