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B2B CMOs make list of world’s top 50 most influential marketing leaders | B2B Marketing

The CMOs of Adobe, General Electric and Cisco have been named among the top 10 most influential marketing leaders in the world.

The list, compiled by Sprinklr, Forbes and LinkedIn also included marketing leaders from SAP, IBM, Deloitte, AT&T Business, Deloitte Digital, G2 and Accenture.

The ranking is based on three factors within social media performance;

brand performance

, personal influence, and industry and internal influence. The top 50 was drawn from 497 eligible CMOs, and must rank in the top 20% of the three different indicators.

The most highly-rated B2B CMO was

Adobe CMO Ann Lewnes

, recognised as a strong proponent of both data-driven digital marketing and human skills. Lewnes’ personal influence rating was four times higher than the average eligible CMO.


Linda Boff was described

as “an iconic example of what marketers can accomplish through long-term investment in a single company”.

Cisco CMO Karen Walker tweeted that her nomination was a reflection of both the stellar work of her marketing function, but also its ever-changing role. 

More than half of the top 50 CMOs are female

Of the top 50 CMOs, 31 were women, up by five compared with 2018. The list was

dominated by tech firms

, accounting for 17 CMOs in the list.

The top three topics CMOs engaged with on Linked were demand generation, B2B marketing and content strategy.

“Today’s modern CMO understands that online influence isn’t about building a personal reputation, it’s about connecting with customers around shared values,” said Sprinklr chief experience and marketing officer Grad Conn. “As product parity becomes a reality in most industries, brands are differentiating with emotional appeals versus the rational sale – people no longer care about claims of ‘whiter whites,’ now they want to know a brand’s perspective on social issues, culture, politics, sustainability, and employee happiness. These CMOs understand that modern, belief-driven customers want to connect with authentic leaders who align with their values.”

Although the ranking was compiled based on social media interactions, the research did reveal that three of the CMOs do not use LinkedIn and 7 don’t have a Twitter profile.

The list was topped by Unilever CMO Keith Weed.

The world’s top 10 most influential CMOs

  1. Keith Weed, Unilever
  2. Marc Pritchard, Procter & Gamble
  3. Antonio Lucio, Facebook
  4. Ann Lewnes, Adobe
  5. Kristin Lemkau, JPMorgan Chase
  6. Leslie Berland, Twitter
  7. Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard
  8. Linda Boff, General Electric
  9. Phil Schiller, Apple
  10. Karen Walker, Cisco

Other notable B2B CMOs included in the top 50

14. Alicia Tillman, SAP
15. Michelle Peluso, IBM
21. Diana O’Brien, Deloitte
37. Mo Katibeh, AT&T Business
38. Lara Hood Balazs, Intuit
39. Alicia Hatch, Deloitte Digital
41. Ryan Bonnici, G2
43. Shannon Brayton, LinkedIn
45. Amy Fuller, Accenture

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