For all of its amazing growth and user numbers, Facebook has a rather... odd relationship with the public. Many people I know, even those who use the social network daily, seem to actively distrust and dislike it. And that might have something to do with the way Facebook has previously marketed itself to the public: remember that bizarre chair ad from last year? Yeah, not hard to see why people didn't react well to that one.
Well, Facebook is finally taking this aspect of the business seriously and has hired its first ever Chief Marketing Officer in Gary Briggs, formerly the chief marketer at Motorola Mobility, the network has confirmed to VatorNews.
He will be taking over the responsibities previously help by Eric Antonow, Facebook's VP of product marketing, who has overseen the company's marketing efforts since 2010. Antonow is leaving the company in September to pursue a personal project related to his interest in education, but he will be staying on through the transition.
As CMO, Briggs will be responsible for leading branding and marketing efforts, including teams responsible for product marketing, platform marketing and events, communication design, brand marketing and content strategy.
Briggs took over as chief marketer for Motorola after the company was bought by Google last year. Before that, he had been VP of consumer marketing at Google, where he leads marketing on search, commerce, Chrome, Google+, Google.org and the overall Google brand.
Before joining Google, Briggs had been the CEO of gift card startup Plastic Jungle and had worked at eBay for six years in roles as VP-consumer marketing, general manager of eBay Canada, global marketing head of PayPal and CMO of eBay North America. Earlier in his career, Gary worked for six years at Pepsi, where he launched Aquafina, Pepsi's joint venture with Starbucks and was director of Brand Pepsi. He also spent two years at IBM running worldwide brand strategy and was an engagement manager at McKinsey.
Facebook has provided VatorNews with this statement from Gary Briggs:
"Facebook isn't just a company. For more than a billion people, it's their connection to the friends and things they care about most. Telling the story of such an important and still very young brand is an incredible opportunity, and I cannot wait to get started."
Brigg's LinkedIn profile has also been updated to reflect his new title.
Shares of Facebook rose 3.02% in regular trading Monday, or $1.15 to $39.20 a share. Facebook's stock is now above its IPO price for the second trading day in a row, following its outstanding Q2 earnings report in July.
This news was first reported by AdAge Monday.