Australian online graphic design platform startup, Canva, announced today it has taken on Apple's former chief evangelist, Guy Kawasaki, to help build its brand internationally.
Kawasaki was Apple's chief evangelist in the 1980s and has since become an advisor to Google; an Apple Fellow; co-founded venture capital firm, Garage Technology Ventures; founded online magazine rack, Alltop; and has written several business books.
According to Canva founder CEO, Melanie Perkins, the new arrangement will see Kawasaki represent the company from his base in Silicon Valley, California.
"Guy will continue to be based in Silicon Valley. He'll be able to represent us, take meetings, and coordinate business development activities in the US," she said."
"Day to day, his role will include speaking at events, working with influencers, using his social media platform to increase Canva's visibility, helping secure business development deals and building our content strategy. He'll be spending some time in Australia later this year."
According to Canva, Kawasaki will develop an evangelism program for the company and help it grow internationally.
Peg Fitzpatrick, who previously worked with Kawasaki as his social media architect and co-founder of the 12 Most website, will become Canva's head of social strategy.
For Kawasaki, the decision to represent Canva internationally was prompted by his own experience as an early adopter of the platform.
"I was an early adopter of Canva and used it to create graphics for my social media posts and email newsletters," said Kawasaki. "After making contact with Canva's founders, I was enchanted by the company's vision and desire to change the world.
"Macintosh democratised computers; Google democratised information; and eBay democratised commerce. In the same way, Canva democratises design. You don’t get many chances to democratize an industry, so I seized the opportunity to work for Canva."
Canva, which announced the launch of its online graphic design platform in August 2013, has grown substantially after receiving AU$3 million seed funding early last year.
"In seven months, people have created more than one million designs using Canva. We're incredibly excited to welcome Guy onboard as Canva's chief evangelist," said Perkins. "It's an amazing endorsement of the Canva vision to have someone of his calibre join our team."
"It's a testament to our team's hard work that we're seeing 100,000 new designs created every week by more than 330,000 users," she said.