Steve Kalifkowitz from Crypto.com, Ludivine Ponte from Balenciaga and Kenny Mitchell from Snap Inc. Illustration by Alexander Wells.
Recognizing 50 Of The Most Entrepreneurial CMOs In Marketing Today
What makes an Entrepreneurial CMO? It starts with their mindset and approach. The Entrepreneurial CMO is one who recognizes that the greatest risk sometimes lies in not taking one. They are beholden neither to the status quo nor to disrupting it for disruption’s sake. They are resilient, adapting to change and driving it, fueled by curiosity, creativity and an ability to test, learn and connect dots in real time.
For this inaugural Forbes Entrepreneurial CMO list, we recognize 50 marketing chiefs—selected based on qualitative analysis and consideration from marketing industry leaders and Forbes editors, who reviewed hundreds of nominations—whose entrepreneurial spirt and actions are helping transform not only their brands but marketing, commerce and, often times, culture itself.
Some work with century-old icons while others are at two-year-old startups. They are building brands and businesses across industries, categories and the globe. Their ranks include marketers from B2B, B2C and direct-to-consumer brands, from companies large and small, and from sectors experiena time of unfettered acceleration to stifling deceleration and stagnation.
Their entrepreneurial spirit aside, what you’ll see in the aggregate is an appreciation for the power of the three Cs that are community, creators and culture, which they deploy as strategic levers in service of the fourth C that is commerce. At a time when the biggest threat facing most brands is irrelevancy, these marketers are fighting for brand relevancy and business growth with an unwavering commitment to making sure their marketing matters more.
For 105 years, Forbes has championed entrepreneurial capitalism and those who drive it. Today, we invite you to get to know the 50 CMOs recognized in this inaugural Forbes Entrepreneurial CMO list. Join us as we raise a proverbial glass to these marketing risk-takers and impact-makers whose work inspires us to think and do differently as the art and science of marketing evolves.
-Seth Matlins, managing director, Forbes CMO Network
Company: Wheels Up
Because Applbaum brings the mindset of a consumer marketer to the world of private aviation. The former CMO of David’s Bridal, RadioShack, Bacardi and medical marijuana company Surterra Wellness, Applbaum has piloted pop-ups at events such as the Masters, Art Basel and the Super Bowl, and partnerships with American Express and Porsche, among other brands. By growing and diversifying the company’s customers and pilots, he’s sought to ensure Wheels Up does for flying what Uber and Airbnb did for ride- and home-sharing.
Position: SVP Marketing
Because building a brand that inspires people to communicate, celebrate and give context to cultural moments differently than before means marketing differently than before. Boschwitz embraces differences, from harnessing the power of her own dyslexia to treating Cameo customers like partners when it comes to idea creation and talent identification. By engineering Cameo’s product-market fit on the fly, she has transformed the platform from being a site where celebrities sell personalized videos to fans, to one where users capitalize on moments to build relationships.
Because he’s using live-streaming to drive commerce—something few brands have done successfully in the U.S. When it comes to engaging with NTWRK’s diverse and growing global community of fans, artists and brands, Brown takes an entrepreneurial-minded approach to listening, testing and learning, which inform how this curator-brand and company identifies, productizes and markets partnerships with creators such as Takashi Murakami, Faze Clan, Ben Baller, Lebron James and Billie Eilish.
Noora Raj Brown
Position: SVP of Communications and Brand Marketing
Because she’s marketing like she’s at a startup, testing and bringing ideas and products to life across multiple platforms, from pop-ups to podcasts to long-form programming. Brown’s entrepreneurial approach to marketing hasn’t just expanded goop’s brand, but by urging her team to focus on service-focused campaigns, she’s helping destigmatize women’s sexual pleasure, and has led the brand’s marketing push for sexual and reproductive freedom, forging a partnership with Planned Parenthood and creating a “Hands Off My Vagina” candle, building on a much-talked about candle predecessor. With a branded reality show on Netflix, Sex, Love & goop, the brand looks to become a catalyst in sparking new conversations about gender, sex and emotional intimacy.
Company: Athletic Greens
Because he markets this fast-growing DTC brand with a POV that pushing bold brand messages, empowering creators to be true influencers, and listening relentlessly to your audience is the only way a brand can stay relevant and drive differentiation in today’s landscape. Whether it’s an AG branded pop-up at Art Basel, or partnering with loyal brand fans like Dr. Andrew Huberman, the creator and host of the Huberman Lab podcast, Matt and his team, reject the status quo in search of what will drive the business next.
Because as rising tuition costs have turned college into an increasingly unaffordable luxury, Caldbeck’s work has ensured quality education is universally accessible. Coursera’s learner-acquisition model—powered by free quality content, global partnerships, SEO expertise, word-of-mouth referrals, PR and a profitable affiliate marketing channel—has helped the brand achieve exponential growth in just three years. Amid the pandemic, she and her team provided universities and governments around the world with free access to Coursera’s catalog, allowing tens of millions of students and unemployed workers to keep learning.
Position: SVP & CMO
Because Cooley’s entrepreneurial mindset has led the brand to experiment with, among other things, platforms and partners, emerging technologies including augmented reality, NFTs and brand integrations inside of games like Minecraft and NBA2K. She’s helped the 20 year-old clog-maker think differently about its future, leading marketing that embraces rather than shies from its polarizing reputation to drive cultural relevance and, in turn, commerce through dozens of collaborations with celebrities and brands as diverse as Bad Bunny, Justin Bieber, Vera Bradley and KFC. Read more about Cooley and how her entrepreneurial approach to marketing is helping transform the Crocs brand.
Company: Topgolf Entertainment Group
Because he’s thinking differently about how to build a brand and business, and how to transform the game of golf, applying lessons learned as a top-marketer at companies such as Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Nike. Since joining TopGolf last year, Cottrill has reorganized the marketing team while also showcasing the technology and customer offerings that set apart the company and its 75 venues. In building the its identity and diversifying its customer base, he’s establishing non-traditional partnerships with brands like Malbon and StockX, and this year expanding into China and Scotland.
Position: CMO & SVP of Merchandising
Company: New Balance
Because Davis’ goal for New Balance is to make it the third-largest brand in its industry—by marketing, in his words, like a “116-year-old startup.” That means creating a culture of calculated risk excellence, using 30% of the brand’s demand-creation dollars to test tactics from other industries, spending another 20% of its budget on experimental initiatives with “a high probability of failure.” So far, it’s driven material increases on the bottom line over five years. In a land of giants, and in 132-plus countries, this challenger brand stands tall.
Position: Global CMO and SVP Analytics
Because she knows protecting an iconic brand requires creating change, not waiting for it. She’s deployed this entrepreneurial mindset to accelerate innovations across product, digital content, experiences and e-commerce as she drives the brand’s mission to “be of service to all skin.” Clinique was one of the first beauty brands to launch an NFT, leverage TikTok (with its #ZitHappens campaign) and react to rapid shifts in consumer behaviors with social-first responses.
Position: CMO & EVP
Company: National Football League
Because for one of the few remaining “mass market” properties, Tim and his team are modernizing a brand and ushering in a new generation of fans by marketing directly to historically underrepresented communities. Through racial justice, LGBTQ+ and mental health programs, he’s helping connect fans old and new to the humans inside the helmets, and is rewriting the traditional sports marketing playbook for others as he goes.
Christine Hsu Evans
Position: Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer
Company: Headspace Health
Because there is no marketing playbook for destigmatizing mental health and marketing it to the masses. The merger of teletherapy startup Ginger and mindfulness app Headspace required Evans to combine the brands for both enterprise and individual markets in ways that add “cultural relevance and resonance.” She’s thinking differently about how the combined offering, now valued at over $3 billion, goes to market, creating Headspace’s first Super Bowl ad starring John Legend.
Position: VP/Head of Marketing
Company: Liquid Death
Because his marketing subverts water category conventions with something closer to canned death metal. Instead of asking brand ambassador Tony Hawk for social media posts, Fass and his team asked for his blood and used it to paint and market a limited series of skateboards, leading the brand to trend on Twitter for a week. They followed that up by recruiting adult-film stars for an SFW call to say no to plastics. Without large budgets or traditional advertising, he’s building a brand, creating and co-opting cultural trends, events and news to maximize reach—marketing a fundamental source of life, water, as death.
Position: Chief Growth Officer
Because reinventing how two billion children learn, and creators around the world build, own and monetize their content, means launching this “story-teaching platform” with minimum viable products and communities, and creating a brand capable of evolving as the market does. To build a storytelling platform on which kids see characters who look like them, she’s gone to market with two separate approaches, using traditional and non-traditional paid, owned and earned media to drive cost-efficient reach, performance media to drive downloads and trial, while also building a network of creators who use their platforms to build awareness, trial, engagement and advocacy efficiently.
Position: President and CMO
Because over the past 12 months, she’s had to reimagine and transform how Salesforce goes to market. Despite being a B2B cloud behemoth, Franklin and her marketing team are taking an entrepreneurial approach to driving brand and business growth, embracing a listen, learn and apply approach to developing marketing programs that inspire conversation, community, co-creation and open idea exchange. It seems to be working as Salesforce has seen its brand valuation increase nearly 40% over the past year.
Position: Head of Global Marketing
Because by thinking and doing differently she has led the 75-year-old brand into the Web3 era and further expanded Adidas’ approach to diversity in global marketing. Under Free’s entrepreneurially-minded marketing leadership, Adidas has also been an early mover in the metaverse with NFTs and a pilot inside crypto-enabled platform The Sandbox. In the past year, she’s integrated the company’s marketing under a single organization, launched an inclusive new bra collection celebrating diverse body types and committed to investing more in women and LGBTQ+ athletes around the world with Adidas’ “Impossible Is Nothing” campaign.
Anne Marie Gianutsos
Company: Drone Racing League
Because bringing a niche sport into the mainstream has required a very different marketing flight pattern. Gianutsos has helped identify what she defines as the “tech-setters”—a group of 800 million people ages 16 to 34 at intersection of gaming, sports, tech and entertainment. Working across DRL’s tech, marketing and design teams, Gianutsos has created new ways for drone pilots and fans to experience a new kind of competition. Real-life events, expanded broadcast and social partnerships and STEM curriculum developed with tech leaders like Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak have all helped DRL quadruple its global fanbase in a year to 200 million. The momentum has led to new crypto, 5G and AI partnerships with sponsors including Algorand, T-Mobile, Draftkings and the U.S. Air Force.
Melissa Grady Dias
Position: Global CMO
Because there aren’t many 120-year-old brands still standing, and even fewer that have had to reinvent themselves twice in less than 10 years, a challenge for which there is neither roadmap nor precedent. As Cadillac strives to go all-electric by the end of the decade, her marketing is opening minds to what the legacy brand stands for, explaining the electric vehicle transition to still uncertain consumers and differentiating the brand in a marketplace that now includes electric-native brands.
Position: Global CMO
Because her marketing is helping change how others market, as her work at this creator-marketing agency helps brands like Google, Amazon and Spotify source content and ideas directly from the diverse voices and communities they want to reach. At a time when many legacy businesses are struggling to reach, recruit and retain younger consumers and employees, Gutfreund and her team are paving the way for a new model of content creation, career building and cookie free media, and proving “Everything is Better with Creators.”
Position: Co-President & CMO
Company: Savage x Fenty
Because when your founder is Rihanna, a global icon who remains Savage x Fenty’s CEO and creative catalyst, the eyes of the world are on you, watching to see if you’ll fall or fail. These are less than ideal circumstances for a marketer to feel they have the permission to take entrepreneurial risks, but Guzman takes them routinely on behalf of a brand that was literally and figuratively designed to disrupt the status quo and a rapidly scaling, increasingly international community of people “who’ve been marginalized, ignored and underrepresented for too long.” Natalie’s story is a rich one. Read more in our feature here.
Position: Chief Brand Officer
Because she’s marketing at the intersection of beauty and technology, marrying machine learning and community building—investing almost $45 million in Black and LatinX owned beauty brands—to drive this direct-to-consumer beauty brand’s results. By thinking and doing differently, she and her team became the third largest beauty brand on TikTok and succeeded in driving year-over-year growth on Instagram at a time when many beauty brands declined.
Position: Chief Marketing & Digital Officer, U.S.
Because Hassan is overhauling how the iconic brand thinks about customer experience, incorporating new and different marketing approaches. The former marketer at PetCo, Bank of America and HP is helping rethink and transform McDonald’s loyalty program and, in less than a year, has driven over 21 million people to join it. He’s also embracing new technologies and platforms to engage audiences, launching McDonald’s first NFT—celebrating cult favorite the McRib—and tapping into TikTok to bring audience-driven “Menu Hacks” to life.
Position: Global CMO
Company: OK Cupid
Because she reversed years of brand decline by taking risks and thinking differently about “what matters” when it comes to matching. Hobley’s led Ok Cupid to be the only dating app that encourages users to bring their social and political views to the fore. Her inclusive marketing strategy has gone where few other brands have dared to go, and has led to the creation of a pro-choice filter and profile badge, conversations with individuals who identify as non-binary, pansexual and other identifies and relationship constructs, and a “DTF” initiative. Hobley and her team embrace whatever helps their audience find what and who they are looking for. The brand’s downloads, share of voice and revenue growth suggest she’s making the matching happen.
Position: EVP and CMO
Company: National Basketball Association
Because despite the league’s global footprint and cultural importance, Jhaveri markets with a “scrappy mindset.” She and her team are using the NBA’s 75th anniversary to bring in new audiences. Looking to her own past at Twitch, Twitter and Meta informs how she drives the league’s use of tech innovations to build fan relationships, leading the NBA to become a leader in experimenting with and monetizing new technologies like NFTs and in next-gen collaborations across the metaverse.
Because, when your brand defines both a company and a new category, the obligation to differentiate the former while serving the latter is complex. Driving awareness, understanding and trust all at once is hard, and requires thinking big, small and fast. Building a marketing organization from scratch, Steve’s team is using old playbooks to build something new, launching exclusive partnerships with 15 of the world’s most influential sports and entertainment organizations.
Kellyn Smith Kenny
Position: Chief Marketing & Growth Officer
Because she has helped redirect and redefine the AT&T brand, transforming the telecom giant as it readies to spin off WarnerMedia into a new company merged with Discovery. She’s also shifted AT&T’s focus back to its core business, marketing its 5G and fiber internet capabilities. (The transformation has helped the company add 3.2 million customers in 2021—the company’s highest annual growth in a decade.) Smith Kenny also took a risk resurrecting AT&T’s “Lily” character for the Super Bowl—a star-studded ad featuring Milana Vayntrub, Zooey Deschanel, Rosario Dawson and Kumail Nanjiani.
Position: Global CMO
Because hyper-growth has its own marketing challenges, and because empowering the world to design requires reinventing the status quo on the daily. With 80 million users globally—but “only 1% of the way there”—Zach’s built a marketing engine to feed word-of-mouth; an in-house creative agency to ensure the pace of campaign development sustains the company’s torrid growth, and a community that brings Canva’s products to the people and encourages the people to bring the products forward from there.
Because being a challenger brand has led Klodniki to instill a mindset of the “relentless underdog” into Skullcandy’s marketing team—which also happens to be the name of a new campaign. She’s broadening Skullcandy’s appeal and clarifying its identity to differentiate the brand from Apple and its Beats subsidiary, taking risks through quirky headphones collaborations. So far this year, she’s led marketing around a limited-edition set of headphones with Budweiser, another ear bud line with the 1990s sunglass brand Pit Viper and a 4/20-themed pair co-branded with Doritos. Other efforts include new partnerships with athletes and organizations focused on mental health and environmental sustainability.
Position: Cofounder and CMO
Because he’s redefining what a pharmacy is, improving patient outcomes by partnering with every stakeholder in a patient’s health journey. Doctors, insurers, hospitals, health systems and drug manufacturers would all become brand evangelists for this digital pharmacy—a cornerstone of the entrepreneurial strategy that Kulkarni crafted to turn limited-resource constraints into brand and business opportunity. Entrepreneurial thinking is also driving how he’s building a marketing organization that partners across the company to “kickstart the flywheel effect and drive all indicators.”
Company: Seven Bucks Companies/Teremana Tequila
Because she’s the driving marketing force behind the fastest growing spirits brand in history. Because she’s subverting how celebrity talent—in this case, Dwayne Johnson—is activated and deployed, and instead of building the Teremana brand as just another celebrity-backed Tequila, she’s taking a human-centric, fan-driven marketing approach, evolving consumers’ organic content creation from a social-media tactic to ultimately branding Teremana as the “People’s Tequila.” That’s no small feat when the the Rock is the face of it.
Position: Cofounder & President
Because instead of marketing Olipop as a natural brand and a category disruptor—both of which this soda brand is—Lester decided to lean into and not away from the category’s status-quo conventions, a marketing risk some investors told them would be “a death sentence.” Sometimes being a challenger brand finds you challenging not just a who—legacy brands—but a what, in this case the notion that soda can’t be healthy. Olipop recently raised a $30 million Series B funding round from investors including singer Camila Cabello and former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, and is now doubling down on building the new and different on a marketing foundation of nostalgia and the emotional connections it creates.
Position: Chief Marketing & People Experience Officer
Because she’s at the forefront of marketing the metaverse to both consumers and brands right as the category comes into the spotlight. Though Roblox was founded at the dawn of social media, Messing—the former Walmart CMO—is helping the brand rapidly take the lead as one of the most popular virtual worlds. Under her entrepreneurial marketing leadership, Roblox is finding ways to stay ahead of trends, helping big-name musicians find new ways of performing and major brands create and experiment with their first forays into virtual worlds. More than 50 million users from 180 countries are now on Roblox every day—an increase of 33% from just a year ago—attracting a wide network of partners ranging from The Grammys and Gucci to Nike and the NFL.
Company: Snap Inc
Because Mitchell’s different marketing approach has made the social media giant a leader in augmented reality, e-commerce and community-driven content. Last fall, Snap’s “Open Your Snapchat” campaign featured out-of-home ads that unlocked secret messages in various cities, while an Oscars campaign celebrated the deaf community ahead of CODA big wins. In addition to focusing on creators and Gen-Z consumers, Snap partnered with WPP last year on an augmented reality lab with a focus on evolving e-commerce.
Because Balenciaga’s marketing is redefining the brand, luxury and luxury marketing itself. In a world where capturing attentions and then converting them is harder than ever before, Pont and her team are doing both. She deleted the brand’s Instagram past to create a retail window present, using influencers differently and brilliantly, and is now helping meme marketing and super-chunky soles to have cultural moments of their own. Marketing through non-traditional partnerships with the likes of Adidas, Gucci and YZY, she’s created repeated and integrated moments of cultural resonance, each building on the next and broadening the brand’s relevance.
Position: Chief Marketing & Storytelling Officer
Company: Color Of Change
Because by definition her job at this non-profit, civil rights advocacy organization is about disrupting the status-quo. She’s creating new racial-justice narratives and solutions across the film, television, music and fashion industries, and considers intelligent naiveté an engine for innovation. Rozell created The Black Dollar Index to help consumers hold businesses accountable for their commitments to Black America, scoring them based on data transparency, just one step in her work ensuring decision-makers act to create enduring systemic change for Black communities nationwide.
Position: President Of Content Marketing
Company: Hulu/Disney General Entertainment
Because with a combination of “scrappiness and innovation,” Ryan has contemporized the Hulu brand and driven audience growth. Across Disney and its subsidiaries, she’s re-introduced experiential marketing as a strategic lever for capturing attention and driving viewership: For Only Murders In The Building, Hulu sent tie-died guys roaming New York spreading clues about the hit show. For Black-ish, the broadcaster collaborated on an art exhibition with the African American History & Culture Museum and Howard University’s Afro-Blue A Capella group. For The Wonder Years, she helped create a retro experience inviting the audience in, and for The Kardashians, she created a pop-up that recreates the famous family’s iconic rooms.
Because Sandström’s entrepreneurial approach to Klarna’s marketing has transformed how people shop—and especially how they pay. While expanding the “buy now, pay later” company from B2B to DTC, Sandström led the creation of Klarna’s first Super Bowl ad in 2021 starring Maya Rudolph. To help the Swedish company’s services go more mainstream, Sandström spearheaded partnerships with major celebrities like A$AP Rocky, Lady Gaga and Snoop Dogg as well as teams like the Chicago Bulls and the Los Angeles Angel City Football Club. He’s also led marketing for new products for retailers such as instantly stoppable content and virtual shopping and now more than 140 million people use Klarna.
Because Sarkar thinks enterprise tech should be more “human.” He’s used humor to market something serious—the company’s first major ad campaign features Ryan Reynolds and his Welsh soccer team, Wrexham A.F.C.—and has taken a product-led growth strategy instead of the typical sales-led approach. Since joining 1Password as its first CMO less than a year ago, he’s applied lessons learned at Google, Atlassian and Cisco all the while making “outbound fury” his mantra.
Company: Volkswagen AG
Because driving the future of electric vehicles has led Sengpiehl to think differently and overhaul everything under the hood of Volkswagen’s marketing department. Describing VW’s new era of electrification as the “third epic period” of the brand, Sengpiehl’s entrepreneurial mindset has led him to make big bets in green vehicles, which he could account for 60% and 80% of its media and marketing budgets over the next several years. (VW’s flagship ID series has become one of the top selling EVs in Europe.) He’s also helped the company evolve from a dealer-driven marketing to a more holistic approach through a new data-driven online platform.
Because he sees marketing like building product, prototype, test, learn and optimize. On a mission to build a brand that’s “the world’s most helpful place,” he sees the risk of failure as de minimus if you learn from it. He’s transforming the brand into a cultural mainstay, destigmatizing the fear of asking for help, and championing those who are willing to give. Tariq sees the platform’s product as inextricably linked to its marketing, and insists that the brand market—as with their first city campaign “New York State of Kind”—with the same “empathy” they are trying to create more of in the world. Read more on Musa’s entrepreneurial approach to marketing here.
Because Taylor’s mission to disrupt, democratize and diversify the art industry through more transparent pricing and more access to diverse artists is changing how people buy art and how artists sell it. He thinks and markets like the entrepreneur he’s been and this mindset and app0roach to marketing has led Artsy to experiment with NFTs, provide more transparent data about markets and pricing to buyers and sellers, raise millions of dollars for charitable causes to address mass incarceration, helped girls learn to code and built support for Ukraine during the Russian invasion. Looks like it’s working as Artsy’s sales grew 150% during the pandemic while the platform’s most in-demand artists are now 65% Black, 75% people of color and 45% women.
Company: Electronic Arts
Because he’s put “community-driven marketing” at the forefront of EA’s marketing strategy. Along with developing the Creator Network—a network of content creators that includes more than 2,000 screenshot artists, filmmakers, writers, in-game creators and others across nearly 100 countries. Tinson has created EA’s first DTC marketing channel to engage more than 540 million active users across various games, e-sports leagues, events and other content. He’s also sought to address important and sensitive topics like brand safety through an “Internet Matters” campaign to promote parenting controls during the holidays as well as DE&I issues through a new Marketing DE&I Council.
Position: EVP & Corporate CMO
Because he’s eschewed historic notions of luxury’s exclusivity, and is using inclusivity to build brand equity, engagement and impact inviting new audiences into the brand. He sees Gucci not just as an icon but as an “always-on publisher,” using storytelling across formats both to sustain and refresh brand image and identity. A pioneer of using AR to bring the in-store experience to those who aren’t, and leaning into partnerships as diverse as The North Face, sister-brand Balenciaga and K-Pop star Kai, he’s making sure Gucci is always in the cultural conversation.
Position: SVP, Global Head of Marketing, Communications & Membership
Because few billion-dollar brands have had to market with more of a cultural call-and- response than Treseder and Peloton, challenged to build a brand and business in the face of a persistently negative news cycle, and wild macro-economic rollercoaster. Within 48 hours of Peloton’s bike being was misused on HBO’s And Just Like That, Treseder and her team were in market with a creative response that went viral, first for how good it was and then for reasons having nothing to do with them, and she was forced to pivot again. Because while there’s no playbook for what she has had to market with and around, she’s creating one for brands that liv either cultural zeitgeist—whether they mean to or not.
Position: VP & Global Head of Marketing
Company: Alo Yoga
Because Vendette is building a differentiated brand and direct-to-consumer business in a crowded wellness market. Her entrepreneurial mindset and approach leads Vendette to thinking content needs to be timely and right, not perfect, and so ideas born in the morning can be live and online by the afternoon. Her team then analyzes, optimizes and adjusts in real time, so what comes next works harder than what came before. She’s using the metaverse to create the Alo Sanctuary: a meditation and yoga studio inside Roblox where users can engage with the brand and its products.
Tiffany Xingyu Wang
Position: Chief Strategy & Marketing Officer
Company: Spectrum Labs
Because in an industry built to mitigate corporate risk, Wang markets “trust and safety” as a growth strategy, a complete inversion of the norm. On a mission to make the internet a safer and more valuable place for all, she’s thinking and doing differently, building coalitions and consensus across industry to do it. Her work to establish and popularize new digital sustainability models for a Web 3.0 world has helped shift the narrative around metaverse from an over-hyped fad to a strategic asset.
Position: EVP & CMO
Because coming into a 115-year-old company as an industry outsider, Kevin had to do things differently to transform the brand. He saw that profitable growth could come by showing up differently and for different audiences—small business owners, communities of color and the company’s drivers, in particular, and has deployed every available asset to modernize the UPS brand, marketing that’s contributed to a material share turnaround with small businesses.
Position: Head of Global Marketing
Because Watson helped brand and market the social audio platform from scratch while creating an entirely new category—something that Twitter and Facebook, among others, have tried to replicate to varying degrees of success. Although Clubhouse has struggled more recently to maintain momentum, she’s help scale beyond the app’s invite-only model—which only opened to the public in July 2021 and grew to comprise more than 700,000 chat rooms. To handle the influx of users, Watson set her sights on hiring diverse talent that’s garnered partnerships with the NFL, TED, Netflix and more.
Position: Global Head of Marketing and Communications
Because Weinberg’s entrepreneurial thinking and approach have helped transform Square from being a payments platform to a global brand that solves pain points for small businesses, all while leading a marketing organization that created more than a dozen awareness campaigns to help companies adopt in-store and e-commerce offerings. Along with overseeing U.S. operations, she’s also leading marketing efforts to expand in Asia and Europe—taking a startup approach to the brand’s expansion into new countries after becoming a leader back home.
Position: EVP, Global Chief Purpose Officer & Chief Marketing Officer, NA
Because few marketers have activated a more full-throated allyship with BIPOC communities than Yeh, despite what many brands have seemed to perceive as the risks of doing so at such scale. Under Yeh, Sephora has become one of the first and biggest brands to join the 15% Pledge, through which the company has dedicated 15% of its shelf space to showcasing Black-owned brands. She’s also spearheaded the Racial Bias in Retail Study, helped revise Google search results for the “Black beauty” search query and created behavioral guidelines ensuring the brand’s social channels are welcoming and inclusive. Yeh has turned a brand commitment to “champion all beauty fearlessly” into marketing, using Sephora’s platforms and global omni-retail footprint as catalysts for change.
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