CMO 50: Bozoma Saint John

Global chief marketing officer, Netflix

Netflix’s reign as the king of streaming grew even stronger during the pandemic, as people binge-watched to pass the time while stuck at home. Original content proved popular on the streamer with shows such as Bridgerton, The Crown, The Queen’s Gambit and docuseries Tiger King topping the streaming charts and producing countless memes and discussions. 

Bozoma Saint John joined Netflix in June 2020 as the first Black C-level executive at the company. Saint John, a rock star in marketing circles, was a high-profile hire, having served as chief marketing officer at entertainment group Endeavor, chief brand officer at Uber and head of global consumer marketing for iTunes and Apple Music. A prominent industry voice, Saint John co-hosted the limited series podcast Back to Biz with Katie and Boz, alongside Katie Couric, and is the author of an upcoming memoir, The Urgent Life: A Story of Love, Grief and Survival.

With Saint John driving the charge on marketing, Netflix gained 16 million global sign-ups in 2020, even as competitors including HBO Max, Peacock and Disney+ entered the market, and behemoths such as Amazon Prime Video vied harder for subscribers. Saint John differentiated Netflix by launching its first global campaign, One Story Away, in September, which targeted audiences across 27 countries by highlighting original programming. Saint John is sure to debut more work for the brand as Netflix strives for global domination, spending $17 billion on content this year as it pushes into local markets.

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