CMO 50: Leslie Berland

Chief marketing officer and head of people, Twitter

News is made on Twitter. This year, that meant the platform amplified some of the earliest information on COVID-19, the 2020 election and vaccine development and education. Working with the U.S. Census Bureau and the Centers for Disease Control, Twitter worked to promote accurate, up-to-date information  and debunk misinformation. 

Leslie Berland has been leading the marketing charge at Twitter for five years, after a ten year run at American Express, where she rose up the ranks to run global advertising, marketing and digital partnerships. This year, she was behind Twitter's efforts to give back during the pandemic through programs such as Ads for Good grants, a pro bono initiative that helps nonprofits share COVID-19 information. Twitter also joined the Global Alliance for Responsible Media last year to adopt a stronger brand safety framework for marketers. Amid the chaos of 2020, Twitter refreshed its brand and rollied out a streamlined ad platform for buyers.

But the boldest brand move of all for Twitter was banning former President Donald Trump from the platform following the Capitol insurrection on January 6. However, the Twitter still has a lot of work to do. For example, the platform purged more than 70,000 accounts promoting misinformation last year during election season.

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