Rachel Whetstone

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Rachel Whetstone
Born
Rachel Marjorie Joan Whetstone

(1968-02-22) February 22, 1968 (age 52)
NationalityBritish
EducationBenenden School
Alma materBristol University
OccupationPublic relations executive
Political partyConservative
Spouse(s)
(m. 2008)

Rachel Marjorie Joan Whetstone (born 22 February 1968[1]) is a public relations executive. Whetstone was in charge of communications and public policy for Google for nearly 10 years. She was senior vice-president of communications and public policy for Uber until April 2017. She then joined Facebook as VP of communications of its WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger products[2] and now holds a similar position with Netflix.

In February 2013, Whetstone was assessed as one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman's Hour on BBC Radio 4.[3] Whetstone has been featured on PRWeek's Power List several times, most recently in 2016 at number 14.[4]

Early life[edit]

Whetstone's maternal grandfather was Antony Fisher, founder of several libertarian think tanks, including the Institute of Economic Affairs and the Atlas Economic Research Foundation.[5][6] Her mother is Linda Whetstone, who has been involved with several of Fisher's think tanks.

Raised in East Sussex, Whetstone attended Benenden School and then read history at Bristol University.[7]

Career[edit]

Upon graduation she joined Conservative Central Office, advising then-Home Secretary Michael Howard.[7] She subsequently entered the private sector, working for T-Mobile UK and Portland PR, before returning to Westminster in 2003 as Political Secretary to Howard when he became Conservative Party leader.[8][9]

When Howard stood down following the general election in 2005, she returned to the private sector, joining Google in London before moving to California to lead the search engine's public policy and PR teams.[10]

In June 2015, Whetstone became senior vice-president of policy and communications at Uber, replacing David Plouffe who was to be promoted to chief adviser to the company.[11] In April 2017, it was announced that Whetstone would be leaving Uber.[12] She was replaced by Jill Hazelbaker, who had been Whetstone's deputy.[13][14]

Recode reported in July 2017 that Whetstone would be joining Facebook in September as VP of communications for WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.[15] The newly created role reports to Facebook's VP of Global Communications, Caryn Marooney.[15]

In August 2018, Whetstone joined Netflix to run public relations.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Whetstone was married to Steve Hilton, whom she met after she had an affair with Lord Astor (stepfather to Samantha Cameron, wife of former Prime Minister David Cameron) in the lead-up to the 2005 election. The couple were godparents to Ivan Cameron, the late eldest child of David Cameron.[7] Cameron is no longer on speaking terms with Whetstone or Hilton.[16]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "BBC Radio 4 – Woman's Hour, Woman's Hour Power List – Rachel Whetstone". BBC News. Retrieved 15 January 2014.
  2. ^ Swisher, Kara (18 July 2017). "Former Uber comms head Rachel Whetstone is jumping to Facebook". Recode. Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  3. ^ "BBC Radio 4, Woman's Hour Power list".
  4. ^ "Rachel Whetstone, SVP, communications and public policy, Uber: Power List 2016". Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  5. ^ Silvera, Ian (13 April 2017). "Who is Rachel Whetstone? Former Uber PR chief with a Tory insider past". International Business Times UK. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  6. ^ Edwardes, Charlotte. "Rachel Whetstone: The posh girl loved by the valley billionaires". Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Hattersley, Giles (26 March 2006). "Power couple behind the new Tory throne". www.thetimes.co.uk. The Sunday Times. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  8. ^ Davies, Rob (13 April 2017). "Rachel Whetstone: from Tory power broker to Silicon Valley PR guru". the Guardian. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  9. ^ Levin, Sam (18 July 2017). "Facebook hires former Uber PR chief Rachel Whetstone". the Guardian. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  10. ^ a b Swisher, Kara (27 August 2018). "Top Facebook communications exec Rachel Whetstone is departing for Netflix". Vox. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
  11. ^ Johnston, Chris (13 May 2015). "Rachel Whetstone leaves Google communication role to join Uber" – via www.theguardian.com.
  12. ^ Swisher, Kara (11 April 2017). "Uber's head of communications, Rachel Whetstone, is leaving". Vox.
  13. ^ "Rachel Whetstone Exits Uber, Jill Hazelbaker Takes Over". Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  14. ^ "Uber's head of communications, Rachel Whetstone, is leaving". Recode. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Google, Uber veteran Rachel Whetstone joins Facebook in new comms VP role". Retrieved 19 July 2017.
  16. ^ "Powers behind the throne". The Telegraph. 31 May 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2015.

External links[edit]