Lyft Inc. has hired Joy Howard as its chief marketing officer, as the ride-hailing firm continues to expand in North America.
Ms. Howard was most recently CMO of Sonos and previously held a senior marketing role at Patagonia. She replaces Melissa Waters, who will be leaving the company, according to a statement.
“Joy is a world-class marketer and unmatched brand strategist who’s going to help take Lyft to the next level,” said Jon McNeill, chief operating officer of Lyft, in the statement. “Her mission-driven approach to scaling brands aligns perfectly with our vision for Lyft.”
Ms. Waters joined Lyft only two years ago, when the company was taking swipes at the competition in its marketing. Her task was to focus more on building awareness of the Lyft brand in regions that weren’t as familiar with it.
Lyft has since doubled its market share in the U.S. and Canada to 35%, the company said. As of September 2018, the company also increased its total ride count to 1 billion, from just 500 million the previous year, it said.
The new marketing appointment also follows Lyft’s recent capital raise, which nearly doubled its valuation to $15.1 billion.
Ms. Howard will be tasked with winning over consumers who have an increasing number of ride-hailing options, from industry leader Uber, to smaller brands like Juno and Via.
“Americans have embraced Lyft because the company not only offers superior service, but also is deeply committed to transform transportation to make our cities more livable,” she said in a statement. “I can’t wait to contribute to this crucial mission. Besides – I ditched my car three years ago, so I leapt at the opportunity to give back to the brand that made that possible.”
Lyft spent $69 million on U.S. media in 2017, not including spending with some digital platforms, up from $47 million in 2016, according to media research firm Kantar Media.
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