Clubhouse has hired a marketing A-lister who’s worked for Netflix, Oprah, and Obama to supercharge its growth

Maya Watson Clubhouse head of marketing

Summary List Placement

Clubhouse has hired away Netflix’s director of editorial and publishing to spearhead its marketing efforts.

On Sunday, Maya Watson was named the company’s first global head of marketing in a town hall-like discussion on the app between the company’s founding team. She will work closely with creators on the app to curate content.

In a post on Instagram, Watson said she was “humbled and honored to be chosen in this moment.”

“I think (Clubhouse) is such a vibrant community and the future of social connection and networking. I have experienced so many incredible moments as a user and I’m excited to get to work,” Watson wrote.

Clubhouse is the app du jour for the tech elite and a widening user base, with more than 12 million app installs in a year, according to the analytics firm Sensor Tower — but it’s still the lowest-profile company on Watson’s resume.

At Netflix, she set the strategy for creating and distributing content on social media, responsible for developing new audiences across apps and podcasts and helping existing Netflix subscribers discover new titles to watch.

Before Netflix, Watson went from intern to marketing and social media director at Harpo, Oprah Winfrey’s production studio, in six years, making her the youngest executive at the company, according to a profile of Watson in Forbes. She was part of a team that won an Emmy for “Oprah’s Lifeclass,” a riff on MasterClass, in 2013.

Harpo shut down in 2015, but Watson found a familiar landing spot at OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network. She led marketing and social media at the cable television network, helping the queen of talk shows further her reign.

Watson also took a hiatus from Winfrey’s media empire to help elect President Barack Obama. In 2008, she worked as a regional field director in the battleground state of Indiana during Obama’s first presidential campaign.

She took lessons learned at Harpo to Netflix, where she joined as head of social media for the US and several other countries and was promoted to director of editorial and publishing, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Now, Watson is joining Clubhouse as it efforts to grow beyond a virtual gathering space for tech workers and reach a more mainstream audience. It’s added a majority of its users since the start of this year, according to SensorTower.

On Sunday, the company took the wraps off a new accelerator program for users who host shows on the app. It will select 20 influencers to participate, offering them mentorship and a stipend of $5,000 a month so they can focus full-time on growing their Clubhouse audiences, Clubhouse CEO Paul Davison said in the town-hall discussion.

The company also said it’s putting a new face on its app icon this week. Aja Monet is a poet from Brooklyn and the organizer of groups, or “clubs,” on Clubhouse that host poetry readings and improvisational storytelling hours.

Monet is also known as the voice of Sarabi in the live performance of “The Lion King” on Clubhouse.

Are you a Clubhouse insider with insight to share? Contact Melia Russell via email at mrussell@insider.com or on Signal at (603) 913-3085. Open DMs on Twitter @meliarobin.

SEE ALSO: Andreessen Horowitz is hiring a Clubhouse producer to develop new shows for the $1 billion invite-only app

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