have more clout than
ever and increasingly
influence the top table.
On these pages we
present 50 individuals
who lead that charge
EVP, corporate affairs and government relations, Walmart
Walmart’s head of corporate affairs and government relations spent the year
cozying up to Michelle Obama for a nutrition charter initiative that launched in
January in collaboration with the first lady’s “Let’s Move!” campaign. It was an
association that worked well for both partners and helped position Walmart as a
thought-leader in the race to fill the food-labeling vacuum left by the FDA, which
has still not issued its own regulations. As Leslie Dach approaches the fifth anni-
versary of his leaving former home Edelman to join Walmart, the combination of
the world’s largest retailer and the world’s most powerful spouse propelled him
to the top of PRWeek’s Power List for the first time.
00/prweekus.com/Month 2009 Month 2009/prweekus.com/00
President and CEO, Edelman
If boundless enthusiasm and unlimited energy
defined power, Richard Edelman would un-
doubtedly top our list. He is a multi-tasking
dynamo who keeps all 3,700 of his employees
on their toes while simultaneously empower-
ing them with the freedom to be innovative
and creative. Even Edelman’s detractors
grudgingly admire the way he has grown his
family firm into a global behemoth that can
compete with the largest of the holding com-
pany agency networks. In 2010, Edelman
consolidated its claim to be the biggest global
PR agency, with billings in excess of $530
million bolstered by four acquisitions and
a slew of new accounts. You can be sure
Edelman’s ambition does not stop there. 3
CEO, Weber Shandwick; CEO, IPG Constituency Management Group
As the leader of Interpublic’s Constituency Management Group, which houses
the network’s PR shops, Harris Diamond can justifiably claim to oversee more
billings than any other PR agency lead. CMG’s performance in increasing annual
revenues by double digits in 2010 outstripped the three other large networks by
a sizeable margin. CMG agency Weber Shandwick, of which Diamond is also CEO,
was key in IPG ad agency-led consortium McCann Worldgroup’s retention of the
Army PR account. Add that to sister firm GolinHarris’ recently unveiled ambitious
plans to double in size within the decade and it is clear Diamond has a strong
idea about how to secure PR’s pivotal role in the agency network of the future.
Sally Susman Gary Sheffer
EVP, policy, external affairs VP, corporate comms and public affairs, GE
and communications, Pfizer
Gary Sheffer, who most definitely has the ear
As the top communicator at the world’s largest bio- of CEO Jeff Immelt, shapes messaging for the
pharma company, Sally Susman is always insanely multinational conglomerate that encompasses
busy. This year has been – and will be – no exception. electrical appliances, media, technology, and
On the heels of CEO Jeffrey Kindler’s resig- financial services. But where he truly shines is
nation late last year, Susman led a restructuring in his ongoing quest to continually improve
of the in-house communications team with an his and his team’s communications skills. He
eye on aligning the function more closely was instrumental in the April 2008 creation
with the company’s other business units. of GE’s Communications Capability Guide, a
This also removed a layer of management tool that helps individual employees find their
that had existed under Kindler, thus strength and weaknesses as communicators.
moving Susman even closer to the new In June, GE took a major step for solar
CEO Ian Read. energy by purchasing a stake in eSolar, which
And the news keeps coming will enable it to develop power plants that can
from Pfizer. Last month it use both solar thermal energy and natural
announced the launch of the gas. More proof of GE’s innovative spirit – a
first-ever home-based clini- quality its communications head epitomizes.
cal trial program, which will
allow patients to take part
in an experimental therapy
program through social
media. And in November,
Pfizer’s patent on the hugely
popular cholesterol drug Lipitor
expires. Susman will have a major
role in shaping the messaging around
both these major developments.
Ken Cohen Chris Hassall
VP of government and public affairs, ExxonMobil Global external relations officer,
Procter & Gamble
Ken Cohen has incredibly broad communications oversight for the
number-two company on the Fortune 500. And with gas prices on every- Two years ago, Chris Hassall was asked to fill
one’s mind, he occupies the global stage like few communicators do. some big shoes in replacing Charlotte Otto as
He’s proven quite comfortable in that position. From ExxonMobil’s global external relations officer at the consumer
“Perspectives” blog, which he played a significant role in creating, to goods giant. What has helped the English-
BigGovernment.com’s Coffee and Markets podcast, Cohen is a willing born Hassall make his own mark is his com-
engager with the press and public. Everyone wants to know why gas prices mitment to the importance of brand PR.
are so high; the pros and cons of fracking; alternative energy sources; and “Brand PR is the top or among the top ways
more. All complex issues Cohen can turn into understandable answers. we can effectively connect with consumers,” he
Cohen also serves as chairman of the ExxonMobil Foundation, the told PRWeek in January 2010. That philosophy
company’s primary philanthropic arm. and subsequent efforts have certainly paid off
as P&G, widely regarded for its brand man-
agement acumen, ranked fifth on Fortune’s
8 2011 list of Most Admired Companies.
Bill Margaritis Looking ahead, rumors continue to float
SVP, global communications and of a possible P&G-Unilever mega-merger.
investor relations, FedEx Those alone should be enough to keep an
already busy Hassall on everyone’s radar.
Now in his 15th year with FedEx, Bill
Margaritis helped the company win
another top 10 slot on Fortune’s annual
list of Most Admired Companies this
March. The survey judges companies
based on their corporate reputation and
financial performance. The $37-billion
shipping company has appeared in the
top 20 of the ranking since 2001.
Margaritis is equally admired among
his communications peers. At the start
of 2010, he took the helm of one of the
industry’s leading organizations for
corporate communicators when elected Elliot Schrage
chairman of the Arthur W. Page Society. VP of global communications, marketing
As the most senior PR professional and public policy, Facebook
at FedEx, Margaritis oversees global rep-
utation management, employee Elliot Schrage
communication, IR, and social responsi- understands the
bility. He told PRWeek in April that vital importance
he expects to continue growing the of influence in
communications department. DC in evolving a
“Communication departments are now technology business
starting to deliver more value for our such as Facebook
businesses,” he explained. “Decision- and he has moved
makers are more aware of this and are to considerably
committing dollars to it.” boost its public
There were persistent rumors that the
10 giant social network would be the next port
Jon Iwata of call for President Obama’s press secretary
VP, marketing and communications, IBM Robert Gibbs when he left the White House,
but ultimately Schrage settled on another
Jon Iwata has been a Power List staple not only due to his title, but also his high-profile Democrat communicator in Joe
strategic vision that has earned him the CEO’s ear. He leads a global team Lockhart, former press secretary and chief
responsible for communications, corporate affairs, and product and services communications strategist for former presi-
marketing. He is also vice chairman of the IBM International Foundation. dent Bill Clinton.
IBM marked its 100th birthday this year by hitting the $100 billion It’s all part of Schrage’s strategy to counter
revenue mark, but also setting in motion a succession plan for Sam Pal- potential problems about the social network’s
misano, who has been CEO since 2002. Until last year, Iwata reported attitudes to privacy and navigate the fine line
directly to Palmisano. Now he reports up through Virginia Rometty who between delivering users useful services that
was promoted to SVP and group executive of sales, marketing, and strat- people like while complying with regulatory
egy. Rometty is rumored to be the frontrunner as Palmisano’s successor. and governmental guidelines.
Ray Day Anne Finucane
VP of communications, Ford Motor Company Chief global strategy and marketing officer,
Bank of America
During what has been a generally difficult period for the US
auto industry, Ford has managed to maintain and even bolster “Who are we kid-
its reputation, in no small part due to Ray Day’s efforts. ding? We know we
Day played a key role in a very bold decision Ford made all report to Anne?”
this past February. CEO Alan Mullaly, to whom Day reports, The words were
bypassed the Geneva Motor Show to deliver the keynote and spoken, according
show off the MyFord Touch technology at the CeBIT Tech- to a Boston Globe
nology Show. Innovative thinking for an innovative product. story this past
The US auto industry is so closely linked to the country’s February, by Brian
overall economy that any messages out of Detroit get attention. Moynihan at a
As such, Day stands to remain on this list for some time. December 2009
reception just two
days after he took the CEO role. If a Fortune
13 10 company’s leader realizes his top communi-
Ed Skyler cator’s stature, who are we to argue?
EVP, global public affairs, Citigroup The recent recession hit the banking indus-
try hard, but as the nation’s largest bank, Bank
When news hit a bit over a year ago that Ed Skyler was taking the lead of America was an easy target for critics, angry
communications role at Citigroup, a New York Observer article noted shareholders, politicians, and more. However,
that Skyler directly reports to CEO Vikram Pandit, serves on the executive Finucane has spent the past two years expertly
committee, and is in charge of all external and internal communications. mending fences and repairing a battered brand.
“He’ll have power,” the story asserted. Her job is hardly done, however. Despite
Having spent years in high-profile roles with Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Moynihan’s optimism, the bank lost $5.8 bil-
first at his eponymous media conglomerate and then as deputy mayor, Skyler lion in the past two years, shares are off 78%
has broad experience and a unique skill set upon which to draw in his con- from their high, and critics are still frothing
tinuing efforts to elevate the reputation of a bank that was severely damaged at the mouth. Finucane will have ample op-
during the financial crisis. And with the more recent data-breach incident portunity to ply her craft in the near term –
of early June, Skyler will have another opportunity to test those skills. and she’ll have most everyone’s rapt attention.
Dave Senay Rachel Whetstone
President and CEO, Fleishman-Hillard VP, public policy and communications, Google
The genial Dave Senay recently found himself Chances are you just “Google-d”
in the south of France chairing the PR section something. Putting all the tech
of the Cannes Lions International Festival of advancements and battles of one-
Creativity – note, not just advertising anymore upmanship aside, that statement
– further staking PR’s case to be taken as seri- alone speaks to the company’s
ously as the ad folks who dominate the event. brand power and place in the global
The jury is still out on whether PR can earn consciousness. Entrusted to deliver
an adequate share of voice at such an advertis- Google’s message, Rachel Whetstone
ing institution, but Senay is determined to indeed is in a position of importance.
prove PR is at the leading edge of a suite of Whetstone merits credit for helping
modern marcomms services. Google avoid the mistakes other such
Senay’s Fleishman-Hillard has been actively entities have made. For example, her
working with Omnicom sister entities across less arrogant and non-confrontational
the ad, media, digital, and even PR divide to approach to establishing a presence in
bring clients the integrated services they crave. DC has been lauded. Moreover, in
Harris Interactive’s 2011 Reputation
Quotient Survey of 30,000-plus Ameri-
cans, Google was the top-ranked
company overall, earning specific top
honors for its financial performance
and workplace environment.
Google faces stiff competition from
Facebook, Twitter, and others on vari-
ous business and development fronts,
but its brand remains strong. Whet-
stone’s team certainly has something
to do with that.
Dave Samson Katie Cotton
GM of public affairs, Chevron VP, worldwide corporate
Dave Samson could not be getting much rest.
Exorbitant gas prices remain a hot-button Apple thrived this
issue. A decision earlier this year by an Ecua- year despite more
dorian court that Chevron pay Amazon resi- health problems for
dents $8.6 billion for environmental damages founder and commu-
16 – a ruling his company staunchly opposes after nications icon Steve
Mark Penn a 17-year legal battle – has tested him. And Jobs that resulted in
Worldwide president and CEO, though the BP oil-spill story is more than a him taking another
Burson-Marsteller year old, no energy corporation, let alone one sabbatical. He did
consistently in the top five of the Fortune 500, make a brief reap-
Brought up in the rough-and-tumble world of can allow those lessons learned to be forgotten. pearance recently to
DC politics, Mark Penn couldn’t understand Beyond specific crises, however, Samson’s front the launch of iCloud, but the burden of
the fuss when the Burson-Marsteller agency broad oversight and industry leadership is driving Apple’s communications has clearly
he helms got into hot water recently for pro- practically unrivaled in the in-house PR world. fallen on the capable shoulders of his right-
moting anti-Google propaganda on behalf of Corporate branding is his team’s responsibility, hand woman Katie Cotton, who has long been
its new – and short-lived – client Facebook. as is the management of the company’s global viewed as Jobs’ “gatekeeper.”
He kept his head down and rode out the website, Chevron.com. The Apple phenomenon is such that even
storm in true Washington fashion, counting He also chairs the when it made a snafu, which it did recently
on other crises to come along and distract the general committee on when a website went down unexpectedly, the
mainstream media from doubts raised by the communications for the public actually perceived it with excitement
incident about ethics and poor practice at the American Petroleum because they – rightly – viewed it as presaging
WPP shop with the outstanding heritage. Institute, and is a mem- a new product launch.
In truth, he is probably right. And he spent ber of the Institute for That’s a powerful brand proposition, one
the rest of the year basking in the reflected Public Relations’ board Cotton has carefully cultivated while shunning
glory of perceived poor performance by other of trustees, The Semi- mainstream communications techniques. As
parts of the network’s PR offer that cast his nar, and the Arthur W. such, she merits a spot on this list – with or
own firm’s performance in a very positive light. Page Society. without her mentor.
Julie Hamp Clyde Tuggle
SVP, CCO, PepsiCo SVP, chief public affairs and
communications officer, Coca-Cola
PepsiCo has placed great emphasis
on nutrition and helping people live Three years ago, Clyde Tuggle relocated to
healthier lives. And much like the Atlanta from his post as Coca-Cola’s president
myriad products produced by the of the Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus business
world’s second-largest food and bev- unit to fill a void left by the retirement of the
erage company, that mandate is company’s top communications pro Tom
heavily visible in its messaging. As Mattia. A year later, he gained the SVP, chief
CCO, Julie Hamp sees to that. public affairs and communications officer title.
However, Diet Coke surpassed Pepsi He reports to company chairman and CEO
earlier this year as the second-most Muhtar Kent. Tuggle joined Coke’s corporate
popular soft drink in the US, a new and communications department in 1989 and cut
unprecedented challenge for both the his teeth on global communications by mov-
company and Hamp. ing around its international offices.
Fortunately, Hamp is a creative spirit Coke has been number one on Interbrand’s
who continues to adapt modern tech- “Best Global Brands” list for the last 11 years.
nology to a traditional appreciation This year, it marks its 125th anniversary with
of telling an impactful story. In 2010, an integrated, classic
she was a driving force behind Pepsi- feel-good Coke mar-
Co’s noteworthy decision to eschew keting campaign. Yet,
Super Bowl ads in favor of its “Pepsi Tuggle’s job is hardly
Refresh” CSR campaign. And she con- easy. Questions raised
tinues to be a social media champion, about the potential of
fueled by the belief that companies cancer-causing agents
benefit greatly by using real consumer in soft drinks’ caramel
feedback obtained through digital coloring will continue
channels to help inform decisions. to challenge the iconic
company’s lead PR pro.
Bill Wohl Jack Martin
SVP and chief communications officer, HP Global chairman and CEO, Hill & Knowlton
Last year, Jack Martin faced the choice of whether to coast gently
into retirement and spend the millions of dollars he earned from
the sale of the firm he cofounded – Public Strategies – to WPP,
or rejoin the fray with renewed vigor and a wider purview. Having
merged Public Strategies with sibling agency Hill & Knowlton,
network boss Martin Sorrell charged Martin with revitalizing the
legendary PR shop and turning it into a genuine global contender.
Months later and Martin is clocking up air miles around the
globe far away from his native Texas, where he was honored in
2010 for services to the state, spreading the gospel of research-led
strategic consultancy and counsel from a rock-solid digital base.
Bill Wohl kicked off 2011 by jumping into the Adele Ambrose
lead communications post at HP, the world’s Chief communications officer, Merck
largest tech company in terms of revenue, just
months after its CEO Mark Hurd resigned Adele Ambrose, CCO at Merck, orchestrated the communications surrounding
amid allegations of falsified expenses and the $41 billion merger between the company and Schering-Plough. That merger
sexual harassment. New CEO Léo Apotheker, made Merck number two in global pharmaceutical sales and doubled the size of
a former colleague of Wohl’s at SAP, where he Merck’s communications department.
spent the last decade, praised the tech PR vet- Ambrose’s priorities include employee engagement, a new global CSR initi-
eran’s skills in strategy, crisis, M&A, product ative, and developing improved external-facing corporate social media programs.
launches, and events. She also helped refocus the pharmaceutical giant’s message to go beyond just
Wohl reports directly to Apotheker, which sharing information about its product pipeline to advancing Merck’s corporate
will serve him well as the company continues reputation with customers, government and healthcare professionals.
to reorganize under new management. Prior to joining Merck in December 2007, Ambrose spent 20 years at AT&T.
SVP of corporate relations, McDonald’s
was recently named
the head of global
role she had been
filling on an inter-
im basis since Jack
Daly passed away
in January of this
year. The 25-year
McDonald’s veteran will oversee corporate
functions, such as media relations, marketing
communications, PR, CSR, internal commu- 25
nications, and government relations. She now Ray Kotcher
reports to CEO Jim Skinner, who at the time CEO, Ketchum
of her promotion called Coffing “an ideal
leader to help shape strategic brand commu- The ubiquitous and avuncular presence of Ray Kotcher at industry
nications and strengthen efforts to make a events combined with Ketchum’s deserved reputation for throwing
difference as a corporate citizen.” the best PR parties masks a smart operator with steely determination
Her reach extends into Ronald McDonald who has led the Omnicom agency through sustained growth.
House Charities, sports and entertainment Kotcher has driven Ketchum’s global expansion in recent years
alliances, and worldwide consumer brand with aplomb, recognizing the opportunity for large network agen-
activities, including McDonald’s FIFA World cies to position themselves as professional services firms that cater to
Cup and Olympic Games sponsorships. clients on a globally integrated basis, with emphasis on the growing
Coffing joined McDonald’s in 1985 from BRIC economies. Even last December’s reawakening of a decade-
Golin/Harris, where she specialized in food old dispute with Greenpeace about corporate espionage couldn’t
and consumer marketing. dampen the spirits of the recent first-time grandfather.
Joseph Evangelisti Ray Jordan
Global director of corporate comms, VP, public affairs and corporate
JPMorgan Chase communications, Johnson & Johnson
Few in-house com- Ray Jordan has crafted an enviable career. He spent 17 years with Pfizer before
municators have the ear joining Johnson & Johnson in 2003. Healthcare communicators are known as the
and trust of their CEO more reticent of PR pros, but Jordan sheds that image as an active participant
like Joseph Evangelisti. with groups such as the Arthur W. Page Society and Institute for Public Relations.
In addition to being a As the overseer of the $61.6 billion J&J’s corporate image, he wields massive
valued advisor to Jamie influence for a company with product lines that traverse healthcare marketing
Dimon, he has earned a from hand lotion and Band-Aids to prescription drugs and medical devices and
reputation as a straight diagnostics. He was lauded for J&J’s march onto the socialized Web, but faced
shooter with staffers, significant challenges in recent months as it wades through a series of recalls.
the C-suite, all external shareholders, and the
media. That’s a good thing when you head
up communications for a corporation as scru-
tinized as JPMorgan Chase, not to mention
working with a rather vocal chief executive.
Dimon has loudly griped about financial
reform, taking his complaints straight to
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in
June. With the financial industry still trying
to rebuild its reputation, comments like these
present a continuous challenge to Evangelisti.
As a member of JPMorgan’s Brand Market-
ing Council, he assumes a key role beyond
handling crisis and outreach. And as an advi-
sory board member at Columbia University’s
master of science in strategic communications
program, he imparts his knowledge on tomor-
row’s PR pros, a sign of true leadership.
28 29 30
Frank Shaw D’Arcy Rudnay Larry Solomon
Corporate vice president, corporate SVP of corporate comms, Comcast SVP, corporate communications, AT&T
On January 11 of this As the overseer of reputedly the largest PR
Microsoft may have drifted out of the spot- year, Comcast officially budget in the US, Larry Solomon is undoubt-
light given the meteoric rise of new technol- acquired a majority edly a powerful player in the PR market. And
ogy giants such as Google and Facebook, but stake in NBC Univer- AT&T still uses Fleishman-Hillard as its
the Bill Gates-founded software behemoth sal. Already the largest principal agency, the firm Solomon worked for
still remains a very significant player – albeit cable company in the prior to joining the telecoms giant.
a more mature, elder-statesman type of player US, this deal put Com- Solomon is set for a busy year ahead with
than its hungry innovator roots. cast in a new league in AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile
Comms chief Frank Shaw is approaching terms of its status in US going through due diligence. It is also
his second anniversary in the job and is one the media world. As navigating the end of its sole distribution
of several transplants from Microsoft’s agency its top communicator, the same can be said agreement for the iPhone and the resulting
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide who has risen of D’Arcy Rudnay, who shapes messages for increased competition from Verizon.
to senior in-house roles. He expertly managed numerous customers, investors, the general
the challenges around Gates moving on to public, and more than 100,000 employees.
run his foundation in such a way that it The immediate and ongoing challenge
became a non-issue. facing Rudnay is to ward off critics who feel
Everyone in tech this merger could lead to a wave of content-
is currently focused distribution unions that don’t serve consum-
on “the cloud” and ers well. Few are better equipped than her to
Shaw will be looking handle such backlash.
to influence percep- One of the most respected leaders in
tions of Microsoft’s both PR and the cable world, Rudnay was
role in bringing a featured speaker at the Arthur W. Page
assets together, inno- Society’s 2010 Annual Conference. She has
vating, and enabling also been named twice (2007 and 2010)
its partners to trans- among the “Most Powerful Women in Cable”
form their businesses. by CableFax magazine.
Thomas Collamore Olivier Fleurot
SVP, communications and strategy, counselor to the CEO, MSLGroup
president, US Chamber of Commerce
Sophisticated Frenchman Olivier Fleurot
The latter part of Thomas Collamore’s title reflects his value to the and his Publicis Groupe bosses have been on
top levels of his organization, the world’s largest business federation, a buying spree over the last 12 months that
overseeing the interests of more than 3 million businesses, state and has seen them acquire a slew of agencies,
local chambers, and industry bodies. particularly in the digital space. It is all part of
The chamber is by far the biggest spender on lobbying activity and that gives Collamore quite Publicis chairman and CEO Maurice Levy’s
a bit of clout to shake things up on the Hill. And as jobs remain a major concern, he is an integral stated aim to make the French-owned net-
force behind the Chamber’s “Campaign for Free Enterprise,” but he also emphasizes a message of work a “human, all-digital group.”
innovation and how crucial it is to US companies’ ability to compete with the rest of the world. Fleurot is sometimes mentioned as a pos-
Meanwhile, with the Chamber set to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2012, branding has been sible successor to Levy, who was talked out
added to Collamore’s to-do list. of retiring last year by the Publicis board.
Fleurot’s pedigree as a former CEO of the
Financial Times Group and executive chair-
33 man of Publicis’ ad operations emphasize
Oscar Suris his credentials,
EVP of corporate communications, Wells Fargo but he will need to
continue to build
Wells Fargo is one of the Big Four the network’s PR
banks in the US. As such, it will always operations within
receive prominent attention, which MSLGroup into
makes Oscar Suris an important figure a genuine global
to watch. And with the fallout of the player to convince
recession still ongoing, Suris will have the shareholders
plenty about which to communicate. that he has the
On June 9, the US Treasury Depart- chops to take on
ment announced it would withhold the big shoes that
financial incentives from Wells Fargo Levy will vacate
(along with two other Big Four banks) in due course.
for failing to take the required steps to
prevent foreclosures under an Obama
administration program. The company 34
staunchly disagrees. Suris’ purview is Peter Thonis
to craft the company message amid CCO, Verizon
Where Suris excels is in his basic Verizon was finally
understanding of what his role en- able to start get-
tails. Earlier this year, he told PRWeek, ting a share of the
”Customers want to see that we’re the lucrative iPhone
source of problem-solving, not of prob- telecommunications
lems. We have a lot more work to do connection mar-
for our industry to regain public trust.” ket in 2011 when
With such candor, however, Suris is an AT&T’s exclusive
excellent bet to be among the leading arrangement ended,
voices in achieving that goal. thus starting a con-
tions war between
the two carriers.
35 The high-profile telecoms company’s head
Margery Kraus of communications Peter Thonis has been
Founder and CEO, APCO Worldwide in the business for more than a quarter of a
century, working on blue-chip brands such as
A clutch of agencies have bought themselves out of their holding IBM and GTE before joining Verizon. How-
companies in the past year and each one mentions what Margery ever, he still displays the passion and appetite
Kraus has done at APCO since she extricated herself from Grey for hard work that all of our Power Listers do,
Global in 2004 as the template they aspire to. particularly in the burgeoning social media
Since regaining independence for the firm she cofounded, Kraus sphere that is so key to modern communica-
has grown APCO from about 350 to more than 550 staffers, with tions, especially for technology brands.
commensurate revenue hikes as well. Kraus is one of two women Thonis has received various industry acco-
whose firms rank in the top 12 of PRWeek’s annual Agency Business lades throughout his 25-year career, including
Report, and she has done this in the hurly-burly world of Washing- the IABC Communicator of the Year Award
ton, DC, which is a testament to her skill, fortitude, and energy. in late 2010.
Selim Bingol Christine Cea
VP of global communications, Director, marketing communications, Unilever
With brands such as
When America’s top auto company Dove, Axe, Lipton, and
(according to the Fortune 500) sought Suave under her purview,
a communications leader last March, Christine Cea is a stan-
it dipped into the agency world to tap dard bearer of marcomms
Selim Bingol from Fleishman-Hillard, for American consumer
where he worked on the GM account. packaged goods. She
With GM being a front-runner in oversees PR, social media,
auto innovation – the Chevy Volt is and health and wellness marketing for dozens
the top-selling fuel-efficient compact of brands at CPG giant Unilever, where she
car sold in the US – Bingol will have has held a leadership position since 2006.
much to communicate about in the A champion of social media’s role in cus-
near future and beyond. The Volt’s tomer engagement, Cea has helped propel
claiming of four major industry awards these venerable brands into the digital age.
in 2011 (Motor Trend Car of the Year; While providing communications counsel
Green Car of the Year; North American across Unilever’s US portfolio of food and
Car of the Year; and World Green Car personal care products, she has vocally pro-
of the Year) also speaks to the broad moted the expertise of PR practitioners in
impact of his efforts. managing social marketing.
Of course, there will always be “You must truly have two-way communica-
some crisis or controversy Bingol tion because it creates loyalty and advocacy
has to deal with. The latest such case that at the end of the day will help grow busi-
involves GM’s CEO Dan Akerson calling ness,” Cea told an audience at PRWeek NEXT.
for a gas-tax hike to cut US oil con- Additionally, Cea serves on the board of
sumption. With gas prices where they directors for the Word of Mouth Marketing
are, this is certainly fodder for debate Association, which advocates for the discipline
and a good test for Bingol’s message- within the greater marketing industry through
shaping acumen. education and other programs.
Zenia Mucha Ginger Hardage
EVP, corporate communications, The Walt Disney Company SVP of culture and communications,
Zenia Mucha’s role as head of communications for The Walt Disney
Company reaches across a diverse number of strategic global divisions, It might surprise some to learn that Southwest
including media networks, parks and resorts, studio entertainment, Airlines flew more domestic passengers in the
and consumer products. The company made various high-profile US than any other airline in 2010 (accord-
announcements in those areas in the last few months, including break- ing to US Transportation Department data).
ing ground in Shanghai on the first Disney theme park to be built in And that was before this past May, when it
mainland China and selling its Miramax Films division to Filmyard finalized its $1 billion deal to acquire AirTran,
Holdings for about $660 million in mid-2010. which increased Southwest’s traffic by about
Mucha joined the company in May 2002 as SVP, corporate communi- 25%. Combine all those interested consumers
cations. Prior to Disney, she held senior communications roles at ABC. She also has vast experi- with a leading brand in a highly scrutinized
ence in politics, serving as senior policy advisor to former Gov. George Pataki (R-NY) and man- sector and you’ll likely find a communicator
aging US Sen. Alfonse D’Amato’s (R-NY) successful reelection campaigns in 1986 and 1992. whose message carries some weight.
In 2010, Ginger Hardage was honored as
one of Texas’ Most Powerful and Influential
40 Women by Texas Diversity. Southwest’s top-
Susan Kahn, 20 “best in class” ranking in a national corpo-
SVP of communications, Target rate public affairs survey
also validates her efforts.
The best retailers are able to adapt their goals to a changing marketplace. The 30-year PR
Target built its success on selling trendy fashion at affordable prices, but veteran describes lead-
the big-box retailer needed to adjust its business plan as the marketplace ership as such: “Com-
changed and shift its message to focus more on a one-store-shopping municating the mission,
experience. Making that kind of shift appear authentic and credible to “guests” and business part- supporting your team
ners is all about shaping communications effectively and that effort has been led by Susan Kahn, with necessary resourc-
SVP of communications at Target. es, and getting out of
Kahn joined Target in 1982 and is responsible for internal communications, PR, reputation their way so they can
management, and IR. In addition, she serves on the board of trustees of Minnesota Public Radio. achieve great things.”
VP of corporate communications, CVS Caremark
Carolyn Castel has been a key player in shaping CVS Caremark’s message
during some transformative years. The business has evolved from CVS,
a top drugstore chain, to CVS Caremark, a pharmacy healthcare provider
with nearly $100 billion in annual revenues and 200,000-plus employees.
CVS Caremark also has extensive philanthropic programs that offer free
41 vaccinations, investments in disaster relief, and support for the disabled.
Mike Fernandez Castel joined CVS in 2006 and leads efforts in corporate reputation,
Corporate VP, corporate affairs, Cargill media relations, crisis planning and issues management, and CSR. Prior to
CVS, Castel worked as an SVP, corporate and public affairs, for Edelman.
Having served as a keynote speaker at the Clearly Castel and her team’s efforts to communicate a compelling cor-
2010 Hispanic PR & Social Media Confer- porate message have resonated with the business world – CVS Caremark
ence, Mike Fernandez has cemented a place ranked 30 on Forbes’ 2011 Most Reputable Companies list.
as a leader in the Hispanic PR community –
a role he accepts with great honor.
His professional affiliations include the 43
Institute for Public Relations, where he is a Richard Sorian
co-chair, and the Arthur W. Page Society, Assistant secretary for public affairs, US Dept. of Health and Human Services
where he serves on the board.
Slightly less than a year since he left State When he was nominated by President Obama for the post in March 2010,
Farm to join Cargill, Fernandez has already Richard Sorian delivered a three-page statement to bolster his candidacy. “Pub-
left his imprint on a company that employs lic affairs can play a key role in making sure critical reforms are implemented successfully,” he said.
131,000 people in 66 countries and produces “Helping people understand their rights and responsibilities is essential to success.”
and markets food, agricultural, financial, and That philosophy will serve him well as healthcare reform remains top of mind to all Americans.
industrial products and services. He was one In fact, through being charged with communicating to stakeholders and citizens the implications
of 14 featured speakers at this past June’s and changes connected to the new system, Sorian will be busy for the foreseeable future.
National Summit on Strategic Communica- However, few are as equipped to handle this responsibility as Sorian. His career has been
tions, where he continues to champion the dedicated to explaining complex healthcare policy as a reporter, writer, government official, and
importance of multicultural outreach. researcher, so his ability to craft clear messages for the press and public alike is unquestioned.
Chris Graves Linda
Global CEO, Schoumacher
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide
VP of communications,
Broadcasting veteran Chris Graves
American Petroleum Institute
cuts a smooth and suave figure on
his newly adopted PR stage, having Last year, the country’s
crossed over in 2005 to take on the role attention was transfixed on
of president and CEO of Ogilvy PR in the Gulf of Mexico for an excruciating three
the Asia-Pacific region before assuming months as oil company BP and the govern-
the helm of the WPP agency’s world- ment worked to stop what soon became the
wide operations from veteran PR pro largest oil spill in US history. The ongoing
Marcia Silverman, one of the most cleanup and resulting fallout severely wounded
respected figures in the industry, at the petroleum industry’s reputation.
the start of 2010. The American Petroleum Institute (API)
His challenge then was to bring the and its communications head Linda Schou-
rest of the network up to the excellent macher Rozett, who joined the trade group
levels it continues to demonstrate in days before the BP oil rig exploded, utilized a
Asia, and it’s fair to say this is still a crisis communications response that empha-
work in progress. sized safety, but also the continued value of
However, with the axis of power offshore oil and natural gas development.
in the marketing and communications Now, as gas prices near another two-year
industries steadily turning eastward, high and regulation threatens the industry as a
Graves has the knowledge and experi- whole, API implemented a series of “Rally for
ence to exploit this opportunity fully Jobs” to fight legislation. Rozett, who led com-
in the coming years. He will certainly munications for the US Chamber of Com-
be counting on Ogilvy’s US operations merce for seven years beginning in 1999, is no
to up its game to similar levels in order stranger to Washington. That experience will
to keep holding company boss Martin serve her well as all eyes remain focused on
Sorrell happy. the country’s gas and oil policies.
Melissa Waggener Miles Nadal
Zorkin Chairman, president, and CEO, MDC Partners
CEO and president,
Waggener Edstrom Worldwide Miles Nadal kept his checkbook in his pocket a little more in 2011
than he did last year, when the entrepreneurial Canadian’s MDC
Seattle-based Waggener Edstrom draws Partners operation went on a buying spree and acquired agencies
heavily on its heritage supporting Microsoft, including PR firms Allison & Partners, Sloane & Co, and Kwittken
but cofounder Melissa Waggener Zorkin has & Company, as well as experiential marketing shop Relevent.
ensured all its client eggs aren’t in one basket. An avid networker, Nadal is a member of the Marketing 50,
Her alums are sprinkled liberally among Global 50, and G100, and says one of his golden rules is not to part-
blue-chip in-house operation such as Star- ner with someone you don’t trust enough to make executor of your
bucks and Verizon, as well as Microsoft. estate. At the Cannes Advertising Festival last year he challenged
In growing their firm from the two of them entrepreneurs to impress him enough to invest $1 million in the best
in 1983 to more than 800 associates globally, start-up in return for a 51% stake in the business.
Waggener Zorkin and partner Pam Edstrom
have created a truly distinct working environ-
ment in which women are able to thrive and 48
develop their careers to senior levels not seen Sean Garrett
at every large agency. VP of communications, Twitter
Her commitment to philanthropy also
shines through in everything she does, making Twitter’s ubiquity and role in estab-
her a role model for all communicators. lishing the art of thinking in 140
characters in the mass consciousness
of media-consuming publics around
the world cannot be denied. However,
it masks a handful of genuine chal-
lenges the mobile micro-messaging
company faces on a business and
organizational level as it attempts
to turn its incredible popularity into
As the still relatively recently in-
stalled face of its communications
efforts, Sean Garrett deals with
inquiries ranging from the ludicrous –
dogs that tweet – to the ultra-serious
49 – Twitter’s role in the street protest in
Suzanne DeFrancis Egypt in January.
Chief public affairs officer, American Red Cross His egalitarian philosophy helped
build a team that is now coping with
Suzanne DeFrancis the incredible flow of requests for
joined the American interaction with the company and can
Red Cross as its chief finally get on the front foot in convinc-
public affairs officer in ing stakeholders and investors that
July 2007 to oversee Twitter’s leadership has the chops to
all communications, turn the hype into a real business.
and public outreach.
Her mother, a Red 50
Cross volunteer during Gary Stockman
World War II who drove wounded soldiers to CEO, Porter Novelli
DC-area hospitals inspired her passion for the
organization she works for today. Want to annoy Gary Stockman? Start by suggesting that Porter Novelli is
Prior to the Red Cross, DeFrancis was the “third string” in the Omnicom PR agency pantheon. While it may be
assistant secretary of public affairs for the third in terms of size and revenue after Fleishman-Hillard and Ketchum,
US Department of Health and Human Ser- Stockman is adamant that it can more than punch its weight in terms of
vices. She managed communications on issues the effectiveness of its work and the quality of its people.
including disaster preparedness and response, Omnicom appeared to back Stockman in February when it bankrolled
pandemic planning, and the rollout of the Porter Novelli’s acquisition of the well-regarded West Coast tech firm
Medicare prescription drug benefit. She was Voce Communications, thus stemming persistent rumors over the past
also deputy assistant to the president for couple of years that the network was considering folding the agency into
communications from 2002 to 2004. On one of its larger siblings. Stockman will be looking to build on this vote of
the agency side she served as SVP and director confidence over the next 12 months to prove that Porter Novelli can genu-
of public affairs at Porter Novelli. inely compete with the big global agency players.
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