Andrea Cunningham

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Andrea Cunningham
Cunningham on 30 October 2017
EducationNorthwestern University
Occupation(s)Founder and President, Cunningham Collective
Known forLaunching the Apple Macintosh
Founder of Cunningham Communication
SpouseRand Siegfried
WebsiteAndy Cunningham

Andrea "Andy" Cunningham is an American strategic marketing and communications entrepreneur. She helped launch the Apple Macintosh in 1984 as a part of Regis McKenna, and founded Cunningham Communication, Inc.[1][2] She is currently the President of Cunningham Collective,[3] a brand strategy, marketing, and communications firm. Her book, Get to Aha! Discover Your Positioning DNA and Dominate Your Competition was published in October 2017.


Early career[edit]

After graduating from Northwestern University in 1979, Cunningham started her career as a feature writer for Irving-Cloud Publishing Co. covering the trucking industry, but decided that she didn't belong in that industry.[4] She joined Burson-Marsteller in Chicago soon after, where she helped to launch Asteroids for Atari, as well as Equal and Nutrasweet for G.D. Searle.[5]

Regis McKenna and the Apple Macintosh[edit]

In 1983, Cunningham moved to Silicon Valley, where she joined Regis McKenna and was immediately given project lead responsibilities to work with Steve Jobs on the launch of the Apple Macintosh.[6][7] She collaborated with Jane Anderson to write the Macintosh launch plan.[8][9] After the launch, she continued to work with Apple as a client, helping them launch the desktop publishing category with Aldus Corporation and Adobe Systems.[4] She contributed her experiences with Jobs to the Walter Isaacson-penned biography[10] and the Aaron Sorkin-written Steve Jobs movie,[11][12] where Sarah Snook portrays her.[13]

Cunningham Communication[edit]

After leaving Regis McKenna in 1985, Cunningham founded Cunningham Communication, Inc.,[4] where she retained Jobs as a client for NeXT[14] and Pixar.[15] Her firm's work included launching RISC microprocessors for consumer personal computers with IBM and Motorola,[16][17] very light jets with Eclipse Aviation,[18] digital imaging with Kodak, and software-as-a-service with Hewlett-Packard. The firm was acquired in 2000 and renamed Citigate Cunningham.[19][20]

CXO Communication[edit]

In 2003, Cunningham spun CXO Communication, a brand strategy consultancy, out of Citigate Cunningham and became CEO.[21] Instead of focusing on traditional public relations and corporate communications, the CXO focused on brand strategy and positioning. Clients included AMD, Beautiful!, Cisco, Eclipse Aviation, FutureMark, Liveops, MarketTools, PivotPoint Capital, PRTM, RSA, UCSF, VantagePoint Venture Partners, and XOJet.[22] She left the firm in 2010 to become CMO of Rearden Commerce, where she repositioned the company's solutions under the Deem brand.[23]

Bite Communications[edit]

After leaving Rearden Commerce in the Fall of 2011, Cunningham advised the Bite Communications executive team on a turnaround in North America. Soon after, she was asked to become President of Bite Communications North America.[24][25] She was promoted on January 1, 2013 to become the CEO of Bite's worldwide operations. She resigned in June 2013 to focus on SeriesC.[26]

Cunningham Collective (formerly SeriesC)[edit]

While Cunningham was advising the Bite Communications team, she began to assemble the group that eventually became SeriesC. SeriesC officially launched in the Spring of 2012 with Cunningham retaining leadership positions in both SeriesC and Bite.[3] The firm changed its name to Cunningham Collective in August 2015.[27]

From April 2014 to August 2015, Cunningham was the interim Chief Marketing Officer of Avaya.[28][29] Her tenure there was a Cunningham Collective engagement, as she continued to lead the firm during that period.[30] She led the team that spearheaded the shift in positioning from collaboration to engagement, with an initial focus on Silicon Valley as a catalyst to revitalize awareness of Avaya to the broader tech audience.[31][32][33] She also held an interim CMO role with Tendril and was an interim Chief Communications Officer with BlackBerry, all as Cunningham Collective engagements.[citation needed]

Cunningham is the author of the book Get to Aha!: Discover Your Positioning DNA and Dominate Your Competition.[34]

Boards and non-profit activities[edit]

Andy serves on the following corporate boards: MixR[35](workplace community building software), Motiv Power Systems[36](electric vehicles), Onclusive,[37] Specialized Bicycle Components[38](bicycles and related gear), and Woodward Communications, Inc. (media and marketing services). She also serves as a trustee of The Aspen Institute[39] (since 2000) and Menlo College[40] (since 2014).

Andy serves on the following not-for-profit advisory boards: UNICEF, Northwestern University Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications[41] and ZERO1: The Art & Technology Network,[42] an organization she founded in 2000 with the mission to shape the future at the intersection of art and technology. She also serves on the Freeman Design Council,[43] a “special forces” unit of The Freeman Company.

In addition, Andy serves as an advisor to Traackr,[44] an influencer marketing software company.

Past board positions include RhythmOne (adtech) and Finelite, Inc. (lighting design). She also served on the not-for-profit boards of YPO, CEO, Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and the Computer History Museum.[45]

Andy is an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow,[46] holds memberships in WPO, CEO, TED and Women Corporate Directors. She has taught marketing classes at Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard University, New York University, Menlo College, Northwestern University, San Jose State University, Santa Clara University, Stanford University and the University of Southern California.


  1. ^ Mieszkowski, Katharine (March 31, 1998), "The Power of Public Relations", Fast Company, retrieved May 28, 2013
  2. ^ Kawasaki, Guy (August 3, 1992). Selling the Dream. HarperBusiness. p. 172. ISBN 978-0887306006.
  3. ^ a b Sudhaman, Arun (April 16, 2012). "Bite's Andy Cunningham Launches Marketing Venture For Series C Startups". The Holmes Report. Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  4. ^ a b c San Jose Mercury News, April 3, 1989. Cunningham's PR Cunning (Archived Article ID: 8901260490)
  5. ^ Ames, Michael (1994). Pathways to Success, p. 272. (Google Books) Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  6. ^ Apple Macintosh Marketing Story: Fact & Fiction on YouTube. Computer History Museum Panel, January 22, 2004.
  7. ^ Zonano, Victor (Aug 4, 1985). "Regis McKenna: The P.R. Guru of Silicon Valley : Clout With High-Tech Firms and Press Is Great, but Some Are Disenchanted". LA Times.
  8. ^ Cunningham, Andy. "Macintosh Product Introduction Plan". Technology and Culture in Silicon Valley. Stanford University. Archived from the original on April 19, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  9. ^ Marinaccio, Wendy. "Andy Cunningham on the Macintosh Introduction". Technology and Culture in Silicon Valley. Stanford University. Archived from the original on April 19, 2015. Retrieved April 19, 2015.
  10. ^ Isaacson, Walter (2011) Steve Jobs, p. 93, 114, 188, 215, 218
  11. ^ Burrows, Peter (2015-03-27). "Why Apple Feels the Need to Defend Steve Jobs". Bloomberg Business. Retrieved 2015-03-27.
  12. ^ Chang, Emily (August 26, 2015). "Andy Cunningham: What It Was Like Working With Steve Jobs". Bloomberg. Retrieved August 27, 2015.
  13. ^ Han, Angie (2015-01-27). "Danny Boyle's 'Steve Jobs' Starts Shooting in San Francisco". /Film. Retrieved 2015-01-27.
  14. ^ Businessweek, October 24, 1988. Steve Jobs: Can He Do It Again
  15. ^ Steven P. Jobs and Pixar Employees Buy Pixar Archived November 14, 2012, at the Wayback Machine (Press release noting her as the PR contact). Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  16. ^ Meyer, Julie (2012) Welcome to Entrepreneurship Country, Chapter 5. (Google Books) Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  17. ^ IT Business Edge, October 10, 2008. There's Method Behind Zach Nelson's Madness. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  18. ^ The Holmes Report, June 29, 2002. Eclipse Aviation Taps Citigate Cunningham. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  19. ^ PR Week, August 4, 2000. Incepta invests in US high-tech operation. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  20. ^ The New York Times, July 27, 2000. THE MEDIA BUSINESS: ADVERTISING – ADDENDA; 2 Agencies Agree To Be Acquired. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  21. ^ PR Week, May 23, 2005. Cunningham rediscovers how cool comms can be. Retrieved June 4, 2013.
  22. ^ CXO Communication clients Archived 2012-07-25 at the Wayback Machine
  23. ^ The Holmes Report, October 25, 2010. Tech PR Veteran Cunningham Takes New Role as CMO at Rearden. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  24. ^ The Holmes Report, January 26, 2012. Silicon Valley Veteran Andy Cunningham Takes Charge Of Bite North America. Retrieved May 28, 2013.
  25. ^ PR Week, January 26, 2012. Bite hires Cunningham as North American president. Retrieved June 3, 2013.
  26. ^ PR Week, June 6, 2013. Bite CEO Cunningham steps down; Dyson to run agency on interim basis. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  27. ^ Graham, Victoria (August 26, 2015). "SeriesC is now Cunningham Collective". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved August 26, 2015.
  28. ^ Shah, Aarti (May 18, 2014). "Andy Cunningham Named Avaya CMO". The Holmes Report. Retrieved June 5, 2014.
  29. ^ Pleasant, Blair (August 17, 2015). "Update on Industry News – Summer Edition". Unified Communications Strategies. Archived from the original on September 10, 2015. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  30. ^ So, Candice (June 19, 2014). "One CMO's journey from Apple to Avaya: Q&A with Andy Cunningham". Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  31. ^ Yapp, Edwin (June 1, 2015). "Avaya's new mantra: From collaboration to engagement". Digital News Asia. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  32. ^ Michels, Dave (March 2, 2015). "Avaya Has a New Stadium". Talking Pointz. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  33. ^ "Project Ava: Finding Avaya's Silicon Valley Cool". Shorty Awards. February 26, 2015. Archived from the original on September 6, 2015. Retrieved August 19, 2015.
  34. ^ Cunningham, Andrea. "Get to Aha!: Discover Your Positioning DNA and Dominate Your Competition". McGraw-Hill Education. Retrieved September 9, 2017.
  35. ^ MixR Board of Advisors: Andy Cunningham
  36. ^ About - Motive Power Systems
  37. ^ Pitchbook Onclusive Company Profile Board Members
  38. ^ "Specialized Bicycle Components Holding Co Inc - Company Profile and News". Bloomberg News. Archived from the original on 2020-06-08.
  39. ^ The Aspen Institute Board of Trustees: Andrea Cunningham
  40. ^ "Menlo College Board of Trustees". Retrieved July 16, 2015.
  41. ^ Northwestern Medill Board of Advisers
  42. ^ ZERO1: History
  43. ^ Freeman Leadership: Andy Cunningham
  44. ^ "Silicon Valley High-Tech PR and Marketing Pioneer, Andy Cunningham, Joins Traackr's Advisory Board". 16 May 2012. Retrieved May 16, 2020.
  45. ^ Computer History: Andrea Cunningham bio
  46. ^ AGLN Programs - Henry Crown - Classes

Interviews and other mentions[edit]

External links[edit]