Arun Sudhaman 26 Jan 2012 // 12:00AM GMT
SAN FRANCISCO--Andrea "Andy" Cunningham is returning to the agency world, taking charge of Bite Communications in North America.
Cunningham is charged with rejuvenating an operation that has been hit by the loss of three key clients over the past year: AMD, HP and Visa. In late 2011, Bite North America GM Michelle Herman departed the agency after one year in the role, amid some staff restructuring.
Cunningham, who takes on the newly-created position of president at Bite North America, brings a considerable tech marketing track record to the firm. This includes handling Apple’s PR during its early years, and working with Steve Jobs on his NeXT and Pixar ventures. Some of those experiences see Cunningham featured in Walter Isaacson’s recent bestselling biography of Apple founder Jobs.
In 1985, Cunningham launched her own firm, which eventually became part of Huntsworth as Citigate Cunningham in 2000. She then founded brand strategy agency CXO Communications before, more recently, serving as CMO at ecommerce company Rearden Commerce.
Cunningham told the Holmes Report that she missed the “speed” of the agency world, after finding her CMO role “too slow.”
“I think it’s a leadership question,” she said of her strategy for Bite. “I think there are great people here and I think it’s about creating an environment where they can do their best work. That’s what I tried to do at Cunningham and what I will try to do here.”
She added that PR has the ability to be “an incredibly strategic piece of the equation”, and said that Bite would target product marketing departments, in addition to comms opportunities.
Key investment areas she will drive at Bite include building its insight and analytics practice, content development and diversified distribution channels.
“Andy Cunningham has an exceptional track record and expertise in building businesses and elevating clients’ market position, which has resulted in a string of highly successful enterprises and technology brands," said Bite global CEO Clive Armitage. "Andy brings a wealth of marketing and communications experience to Bite as well as an influential industry network, which I’m certain will be an amazing resource for our people and our clients.”
Bite has also made four recent VP appointments: Victoria Graham for digital solutions; Lisa Worrall for corporate and CSR; Michael Celiceo for its start-up and entrepreneurial practice; and, Molly Holtman Stein for enterprise. All four are based in San Francisco and focus on the US market.