The 25 most innovative CMOs in the world in 2019

Business Insider | Jun 12, 2019, 01.48AM IST

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Hulu; Taco Bell; Burger King; Mastercard; Olivia Raeney/Business Insider

  • With the $221 billion US ad industry facing disruption on several fronts, the chief marketing officer's role is more complex than ever.
  • CMOs have to navigate fragmented consumer attention, pioneer new ad models, and grapple with competition from direct-to-consumer upstarts.
  • Here's Business Insider's fourth annual ranking of the CMOs who most stand out in overcoming these challenges.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

With the $221 billion ad industry in the US facing disruption on several fronts, the job of the CMO has gotten greater in scope, scale, and complexity.

Marketing chiefs have to not only capture increasingly fragmented consumer attention but also pioneer new advertising models. They have to navigate sometimes fraught relationships with the digital ad giants and often compete with direct-to-consumer upstarts upending traditional marketing.

With CMOs becoming increasingly important in the C-suite as stewards steering their organizations through such seismic shifts, Business Insider is recognizing those rising to the occasion.

They don't all necessarily hold the CMO title, but are senior marketing executives at consumer-facing brands who are affecting change in their own companies and the industry at large.

Here's our fourth annual ranking of the world's most innovative CMOs. Like last year, we named 25 honorees to the list this year. Scroll on to see the marketers who made the cut.


We relied on a mix of our own reporting, nominations from readers, and the recommendations of an advisory council to narrow down the finalists. We then put the names up to a vote, with the council giving each nominee a rank between 1 and 25. We based the final rankings on the average scores.

Our advisory council was made up of Medialink's chief transformation officer Dana Anderson, R3 cofounder and principal Greg Paull, Forrester analyst Jay Pattisall, and former 360i chairwoman and comScore president Sarah Hofstetter. The CMOs were ranked based on:

  • How effectively they married creativity, science, and technology in their campaigns.
  • How they're wresting more control of their marketing by rethinking traditional advertising models.
  • If they mastered the art of storytelling across platforms and pushed the boundaries of creativity.
  • How they demonstrated that they can ably respond to disruption.
  • How they're helping to move organizations, spur innovation, drive business growth, and shape cultural narratives.

The other factors we considered were the size of the executive's brand; how much the brand's footprint grew in the past year; the extent of their role and responsibilities; their influence in the marketing and advertising industry; and whether their marketing efforts drove their company's performance.

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