10 Peter Duffy
Chief executive (interim), Just Eat
Duffy replaced Barnaby Dawe as chief customer officer last May and, in January, became interim CEO when Peter Plumb quit, though he has ruled himself out of taking the job permanently. In May, he launched a major campaign for Just Eat after appointing McCann UK to the global account.
9 Liam Newton
Vice-president marketing, Carlsberg
Newton proved himself to be among the UK’s most confident marketers in April when he introduced an overhaul of Carlsberg lager with a fresh recipe and visual revamp. A campaign alongside it boldly acknowledged the previous version had not been up to par.
8 Benjamin Braun
Chief marketing officer (Europe), Samsung
A strong track record at Audi helped Braun land the top European marketing job at Samsung at the start of this year. In October he oversaw one of the year’s more audacious marketing projects, launching a pair of Galaxy S10 phones into space via satellite to allow people to have a "space selfie" taken and beamed to Earth.
7 Katharine Newby Grant
Marketing director, Northern Europe, Procter & Gamble
Newby Grant, a former head of media, Northern Europe at P&G, was promoted last July. Since then she has brought a focus on media effectiveness to her current role, which places her in charge of one of the UK’s biggest ad budgets. She has been instrumental in the creation of pioneering Publicis Groupe agency team PG One, and has continued to ramp up brand purpose and progressive values.
6 Alessandra Bellini
Chief customer officer, Tesco
Tesco also had a big birthday to celebrate this year, having reached a sprightly 100. Bellini, who joined Tesco in 2017 from Unilever, marked the occasion with a new price proposition, "Prices that take you back", and a nostalgia-fuelled campaign featuring mods and rockers, Blitz-era Brits and Mr Blobby.
5 Mark Given
Chief marketing officer, Sainsbury’s
Previously marketing director for the Sainsbury’s brand, Given was promoted in August to oversee marketing across the whole business, including Argos. This year he has had the crucial task of marking 150 years since John James and Mary Ann Sainsbury opened their first grocery store in London’s Drury Lane. Celebrations have ranged from pop-ups that hosted the Queen to initiatives designed to make stores more accessible for disabled people.
4 Aline Santos
Executive vice-president global marketing and chief diversity and inclusion officer, Unilever
Following the retirement in May of Keith Weed, Santos became the most influential marketer at Unilever, which is more dedicated than ever to its purpose-driven approach. Indeed, in June, new chief executive Alan Jope said that the business would dispose of brands that didn’t fit the mould. Santos, who has called herself a "born activist", has driven Unilever’s "Unstereotype" initiative, this year launching the Unstereotype Metric, a tool to help advertisers distinguish between progressive and regressive gender portrayals.
3 Pete Jeavons
Group brand director (interim), BT Group
In January, Jeavons was appointed director of marketing communications for BT’s Consumer division, giving him responsibility for campaigns across BT and EE. In May, he was further elevated when Zaid Al-Qassab left for Channel 4. Shortly after, he made the huge decision to move BT’s main brand advertising out of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO after 23 years to Saatchi & Saatchi, which already handled EE, staking his reputation on the hope that a joined-up approach would give a somewhat conservative corporate behemoth a jolt of energy.
2 Syl Saller
Chief marketing and innovation officer, Diageo
While continuing to oversee forward-thinking campaigns for the likes of Guinness, Saller – who in November marked 20 years at Diageo – has become a key champion for an active approach to ensuring diversity in the creative industries. At the start of the year, she signed the drinks giant up as the exclusive sponsor of #CreativeComebacks, the Creative Equals scheme to support women back into work after a career break, and last month, the initiative was rolled out to the US and India, both key Diageo markets.
1 Simon Morris
Vice-president global creative, Amazon
With its 2018 global adspend rocketing 30% to $8.2bn (£6.3bn), there’s a good chance Amazon is now the single biggest advertiser on Earth. This makes Morris, who came into the business via LoveFilm, the precursor to Amazon Prime Video, a powerful man. In keeping with the press-unfriendly ecommerce giant, Morris keeps a low profile but credits the value added by smaller agencies. It is a view he backs up via his relationships with Lucky Generals, Droga5 and Joint, each of which has turned out high-calibre work in the past year.