Caryn Marooney

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Caryn Marooney
Alma materCornell
OccupationVice President of Communications at Facebook

Caryn Marooney is an American business executive who runs global communications and public relations for Facebook[1][2] and previously co-founded OutCast Communications.[3]

Early life[edit]

Marooney grew up in New York City on the Upper West Side.[4] She is the daughter of James Marooney and Liane Plane and has one sister, Lisa.[5] A 1985 graduate of the all-girls Brearley School in Manhattan,[6] she later attended and graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in labor relations.[7]


In 1997, Marooney and Margit Wennmachers co-founded Outcast Communications, a San Francisco public relations firm, specializing in technology companies.[3] Clients included Facebook, Yahoo!, Andreessen Horowitz,[8] Netflix, Amazon (company).[9], and EMC.[3] Her former partner attributed to Marooney the popularization of Salesforce's "end of software" branding and story.[10] Marooney remained as co-president of Outcast after it was acquired in 2005 by Next Fifteen Communications, Europe's largest publicly traded PR company.[3] She became the sole president following her partner's departure.[8]

In March 2011, Marooney was diagnosed with breast cancer at the same time she was offered a job at Facebook heading up tech public relations.[2] The job was leading outreach for Facebook to the tech community.[11] While she first assumed she would have to turn down the promotion to deal with health issues, after consulting with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg, she decided to accept. She told her new staff at Facebook that she had the disease and would need their help more because of the side effects of her treatment. She credits being open with fostering a more cohesive, collaborative staff, and shifting her focus from her own success to that of the team.[2] She also says that the communications team is more willing to discuss and share "lessons learned" from bad outcomes in group settings.[12] In an interview, Sheryl Sandberg described the outcome of Marooney's decision: "By sharing this huge challenge that she was going through, her team has actually become stronger. They’ve pulled together to help her, and they’ve started sharing more of their own personal and professional challenges."[13]

Marooney assumed day-to-day control of the entire Facebook communications team in March 2016.[1][14] She also began to oversee all communications for Facebook-owned Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus VR.[15]

Philosophy and impact[edit]

Marooney's essay "The Best PR Advice You've Never Heard"[16] appeared in Fast Company (magazine) as a "Best Business Lesson of 2014."[17] Marooney developed the "RIBS" test to develop a compelling PR message (will a story "stick to your ribs"), which stands for "Relevant, Inevitable, Believable, Simple."[17] A Salesforce executive who worked with Marooney said RIBS "taught a generation of communicators how to ask the right questions, create a messaging framework, and build a case for why anyone should care."[18] She also advised that start-ups not launch until they know their "second message" - what comes next after launch publicity is over.[17] The article also includes Marooney's advice on developing a "Brand Lens" and "Seven Deadly Sins" and "Seven Virtuous Habits" of communications.[17]

In a February 2017 article in Vogue (magazine), Marooney was described as one of the "top women in tech." She said: "I wish I could tell my younger self: ‘Chill out; it’s going to be okay if you focus on what you are good at, what you like doing, and if you are providing value to the place you are right now.’ ”[19] Marooney also offered career advice to women: "Have a seat at the table and own the space you’re in, and be brave enough to say what you really think. It helps how people perceive you and your career advancement."[19]

A May 2017 article in Recode showed Marooney in a photo at Mark Zuckerberg's 33rd birthday celebration of "20 Facebookers you should know not named Mark Zuckerberg."[20]


Marooney ranked on PRWeek's Power List, as one of the 50 most powerful people in public relations, as #11 in 2014,[10] #21 in 2015,[18] # 13 in 2016,[15] and #11 in 2017.[21]

She was named to the board of directors of Zendesk in 2014[22] and is an advisor to UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.[23]


Marooney is married[4] and a mother of one son.[6] She relocated from New York to the San Francisco-area of California for her career.[4] She has said she might one day return to New York City to raise a family.[4]


  1. ^ a b Wagner, Kurt (2016-03-31). "Facebook Executive Mike Buckley Is Leaving and Caryn Marooney Is Taking Over Communications". Recode. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  2. ^ a b c "[Interview] Resilient leadership at Facebook, because the work is never done | Business Digest". Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  3. ^ a b c d Foremski, Tom (21 June 2005). "The British Invasion continues as OutCast is gobbled up by Next Fifteen". Retrieved 16 October 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d "Should We Stay or Should We Go?". Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  5. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths MAROONEY, JAMES J." The New York Times. 2003-05-01. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  6. ^ a b "Brearley Bulletin BULLETIN Winter 2016 Page 46". Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  7. ^ "Zendesk Inc. - IR Home - Corporate Governance - Board of Directors - Board Details". Retrieved 2017-12-22.
  8. ^ a b "OutCast Communications Co-Founder Leaves Agency to Join Venture Capital Firm". Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  9. ^ "Caryn Marooney - Techonomy". Techonomy. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  10. ^ a b "Caryn Marooney: Power List 2014". Retrieved 2017-12-07.
  11. ^ "OutCast Agency Head Joins Facebook as Tech Communications Lead". AllThingsD. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  12. ^ Sandberg, Sheryl; Grant, Adam (2017). Option B: Facing Adversity, Building Resilience, and Finding Joy. Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 9781524732684.
  13. ^ "'Kids deserve just as much support as anyone else'". SheKnows. 2017-06-09. Retrieved 2017-12-21.
  14. ^ "Caryn Marooney's role at Facebook grows as Mike Buckley exits | PR Week". Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  15. ^ a b "Caryn Marooney, VP of communications, Facebook: Power List 2016". Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  16. ^ "The Best PR Advice You've Never Heard - from Facebook's Head of Tech Communications". Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  17. ^ a b c d "Facebook's Head of Tech Communications Shares The Best PR Advice You've Never Heard". Fast Company. 2014-03-25. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  18. ^ a b "Caryn Marooney: Power List 2015 | PR Week". Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  19. ^ a b "Mind the (Gender) Gap: Career Advice From Some of Tech's Top Women". Vogue. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  20. ^ "Mark Zuckerberg's birthday photo shows the 20 Facebookers you should know not named Mark Zuckerberg". Recode. Retrieved 2017-09-26.
  21. ^ "Caryn Marooney, VP Communications, Facebook. Power List 2017". PR Week. 5 July 2017. Retrieved 26 September 2017.
  22. ^ "Startup Zendesk Sets An Example For The Tech Industry And Appoints Three Women To Its Board Before IPO". Business Insider. Retrieved 2016-10-16.
  23. ^ "Facebook VP Of Global Communications Caryn Marooney Will Speak At Silicon Slopes Tech Summit 2018". Silicon Slopes. 2017-12-12. Retrieved 2017-12-21.

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