Rachel Whetstone | Influence 100
Charting the future of public relations
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Rachel Whetstone

Chief Marketing Officer
Netflix
US

 

 

Rachel Whetstone is no stranger to weathering the highest order of comms controversies. Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that last year she left her role as VP of communications for WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook Messenger products, to become chief communications officer at Netflix. She replaces Jonathan Friedland, who was fired after using racist language. 

Before joining Facebook, Whetstone led comms and policy for Uber, a job she left after a series of hits according to Recode — investors blaming bad press for Uber’s woes and tension between Whetstone and then-CEO Travis Kalanick among them. Last year, she found herself embattled in a lawsuit, refuting claims by an Uber executive that she “destroyed his reputation,” calling the claims “utterly false.”

Before that, she was director of corporate communications at Google as it was embroiled in a battle with the EU at the time over limiting the power of its services. Before making the leap to PR, Whetstone, well known for being as forceful as she is tough-talking, was a player in British politics, serving as former Conservative party leader Michael Howard’s chief of staff.