Kara Swisher

Recent Posts by Kara Swisher

A New Kind of Marketing Company From Former Apple Exec Forming With Backing of Twitter’s Dorsey

Allison Johnson, who had been a top marketing exec for Apple, is finally close to launching on a new kind of marketing firm, sources said, with backing from Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey and Malaria No More co-founder Ray Chambers.

Sources said that Johnson — who had been Apple’s vice president of worldwide marketing communications since 2005, before she quit in March — has since been ruminating on how to create a different kind of marketing company. Its aim is to help big companies and brands connect more effectively with smaller tech companies and burgeoning social networks.

“It’s a different new model, although it’s certainly a full-service solution for companies from a marketing point of view,” said one source. “But it does not conform to a typical agency.”

It’s not clear how much funding Dorsey or Chambers have put up or when the firm will launch. It’s been in formation for many months, said sources.

But Johnson has been working closely on its creation with longtime Silicon Valley PR exec Sarah Ross and others. Previously, she had been talking about such a partnership with Facebook PR exec Brandee Barker, who is no longer involved in the project.

Johnson has also talked to former Facebook marketing director Randi Zuckerberg, who left the social networking site last week to start her own marketing firm, about working together.

Johnson declined to comment on the venture.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik