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Rachel Marjorie Joan Whetstone
February 22, 1968
|Occupation||Public relations executive|
Rachel Marjorie Joan Whetstone (born 22 February 1968) is a public relations executive. Whetstone joined Facebook as VP of communications of its WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger products in September 2017. She was senior vice-president of communications and public policy for Uber until April 2017. She was in a similar position at Google until June 2015.
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. Whetstone has been featured on PRWeek’s Power List several times, most recently in 2016 at number 14.
Whetstone is married to Steve Hilton, whom she met after an affair with Lord Astor (stepfather to Samantha Cameron, wife of former Prime Minister David Cameron) in the lead-up to the 2005 election. Cameron is no longer on speaking terms with Whetstone or Hilton. The couple were godparents to Ivan Cameron, the late eldest child of David Cameron.
Her maternal grandfather was Antony Fisher, founder of many libertarian think tanks, including the Institute of Economic Affairs, the Atlas Economic Research Foundation and the Adam Smith Institute. 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.
Upon graduation she joined Conservative Central Office, advising then-Home Secretary Michael Howard. She subsequently entered the private sector, working for One2One and Portland PR, before returning to Westminster in 2003 as Political Secretary to Howard when he became Conservative Party leader.
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 .
In May 2015, it was announced that in June 2015 Whetstone would become senior vice-president of policy and communications at transportation network company Uber, replacing the promoted David Plouffe who is to become chief adviser to the company. In April 2017, it was announced that Whetstone would be leaving Uber. She was replaced by Jill Hazelbaker, who had deputized for Whetstone.
Recode reported in July 2017 that Whetstone would be joining Facebook in September as VP of communications for WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger. The newly created role reports to Facebook's VP of Global Communications, Caryn Marooney.
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- BBC Radio 4, Woman's Hour Power list
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- "Powers behind the throne". The Telegraph. 31 May 2008. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
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- Edwardes, Charlotte. "Rachel Whetstone: The posh girl loved by the valley billionaires". Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- Davies, Rob (2017-04-13). "Rachel Whetstone: from Tory power broker to Silicon Valley PR guru". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- Levin, Sam (2017-07-18). "Facebook hires former Uber PR chief Rachel Whetstone". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- "Rachel Whetstone Exits Uber, Jill Hazelbaker Takes Over". Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- "Uber's head of communications, Rachel Whetstone, is leaving". Recode. Retrieved 2018-09-11.
- "Google, Uber veteran Rachel Whetstone joins Facebook in new comms VP role". Retrieved 2017-07-19.
- "Top Facebook communications exec Rachel Whetstone is departing for Netflix". Retrieved 2018-08-27.