Apple executive Suzanne Lindbergh, who has been with the company for 25 years, confirmed via email today that she has accepted a new position with speaker and Bluetooth accessory maker Jawbone. The marketing specialist had the official title of “Worldwide Director of Buzz Marketing” at Apple, which put her in charge of making sure Apple products showed up front-and-center in both big and small screen entertainment.
Hollywood productions have long featured Apple products in various capacities – I’ve been re-watching Fringe recently, and Olivia’s notebook of choice is a MacBook Pro computer. A recent example that made headlines was in the Netflix original “House of Cards,” which featured one scene in particular with a lot of Apple gear all in-frame at once. While it didn’t take the top spot this year in the Brandcameo awards, which track and compare placements of a variety of product throughout the year, it wasn’t far off the leader.
Lindbergh’s role appears to have been focused on making sure that Apple products where available to and in use by the right people. Unlike other companies, Apple reportedly doesn’t pay to get their products into movie and TV shows (we’ve heard this from sources, too); instead, it simply makes free iPhones, Macs and iPads available to productions for their use.
As to the reason for the departure, which was first reported via anonymous tip to AppleInsider, Lindbergh told us via email that she was simply ready for a new challenge, and Jawbone presented exactly that. Her role at the accessory-maker will be extremely similar to what she was doing at Apple, according to a statement she provided TechCrunch.
“I am incredibly excited to head to Jawbone to begin work on entertainment industry collaborations for Jawbone and their incredible products,” she says in the statement. “Excited to be part of a team who are defining the future of wearable technology and audio devices.”
I wouldn’t expect Apple to fall out of the Hollywood spotlight as a result of this executive departure, but it will be interesting to see how that strategy changes, if at all, as the person responsible for product placement for 18 years moves on to something new. Lindbergh tells us she created, ran and defined Apple’s movie and TV outreach program back in 1994, so it’s definitely a significant shift.