Apple Recruits Wolff Olins CEO For New Marketing Role

karl-heiselman

Apple has reportedly hired Karl Heiselman, chief executive officer of branding agency Wolff Olins, to join the company in a new marketing communications role.

The former CEO and branding expert has been with Wolff Olins for a total of 14 years — and during his seven years as chief executive officer has worked with a number of high profile clients, including Apple.

“As CEO of Wolff Olins, I’m focused on helping our people and our clients create game-changing work that drives positive commercial and social impact,” Heiselman notes on his LinkedIn page, which has yet to be updated to reflect his new role at Apple.

“I’ve been fortunate to have worked with some truly extraordinary brands over the years including GE, Microsoft, Mozilla, Target, EE, Apple, SWATCH, UNICEF, AMEX, and (RED).”

Heiselman previously worked for Apple as a Design Director for two years during the early 1990s. “It was a bit of a weird time, they were trying to find their way,” he told UK newspaper the Guardian in 2009. “The big lesson I learned was they were trying to be somebody they weren’t and Jobs came back and said very clearly, ‘we are going to go back to who we really are’.”

In the same interview, Heiselman noted that Apple today sometimes feels “a little too cool for its own good … I think it might be in danger of becoming too cool, maybe not too cool, but too slick.”

Heiselman’s new role at Apple comes at a time when the company is reportedly shaking up in its marketing team on the back of concerns that Samsung is outgunning it in terms of marketing firepower.

It will be interesting to see what skills and strategies Karl Heiselman — who also has experience working with watch companies, such as Swatch — will bring to Apple.

  • darlaj

    Swatch is fashion and novelty watches, mostly gaudy plastic and disposable.

About the author

Luke DormehlLuke Dormehl is a UK-based journalist and author, with a background working in documentary film for Channel 4 and the BBC. He is the author of The Formula: How Algorithms Solve All Our Problems, And Create More and The Apple Revolution, both published by Penguin/Random House. His tech writing has also appeared in Wired, Fast Company, Techmeme, and other publications. He'd like you a lot if you followed him on Twitter.

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