Women on the decline in Forbes Most Influential CMOs list

Only 12 women appear in this year’s Forbes’ 50 Most Influential CMOs list, compared to 17 in 2014.

The highest ranking female, Beth Comstock of General Electric, climbed from eighth place in 2014 to fifth this year.

The decline can in part be explained by a drop in influence of companies in the apparel sector – a traditionally more female industry – and an increase of dominance in the automotive sector.

Apparel, which was last year ranked third, has dropped out of the top ten industries represented by CMOs in the list.

Interestingly, Comstock also ranked as the number one Twitter account followed by her peers in the list, and third on LinkedIn.

Eight of the top 10 industries this year had no female CMO representation.

10 of the most influential CMOs work in automotive industry companies, making it the most dominant sector.

The study, completed by Forbes in partnership with content marketing software platform ScribbleLive and LinkedIn, was formed using analysis on the influence of CMOs of companies in the Forbes Global 2000 Largest Companies List and the 2015 Forbes Most Valuable Brands list.

Senior vice president of worldwide marketing at Apple Phil Schiller topped the list for the fourth year running.

“Chief marketing officers are rising in importance within the C-Suite as they evolve to be the principal drivers of business growth” says Bruce Rogers, chief insights officer and head of the CMO practice, Forbes Media.

“That’s why we set out to create a ranking of those deemed most influential within their industries and within their craft.”

Screen shot 2015-11-11 at 11.41.05 AM

Here’s the list:


  1. Phil Schiller, Apple,
  2. Kevin Hochman, KFC US,
  3. Kevin Crull, Sprint,
  4. Olivier Francois, Fiat Chrysler,
  5. Beth Comstock, General Electric,
  6. Scott Moffit, Nintendo America,
  7. Geoff Morrell, BP America Inc,
  8. Martine Reardon, Macy’s,
  9. Keith Weed, Unilever,
  10. Alain Visser, Volvo,
  11. Tony Pace, Subway,
  12. Alan Gershenhorn, UPS,
  13. David Kroll, MillerCoors,
  14. Andrew Nocella, American Airlines,
  15. Jerome Stoll, Renault,
  16. Andrew Sherrard, T-Mobile,
  17. David Christopher, AT & T,
  18. Dorothy Dowling, Best Western,
  19. David Lauren, Ralph Lauren,
  20. Brian Smith, Lexus,
  21. John Frascotti, Hasbro,
  22. Dana Anderson, Mondelez International,
  23. Ram Krishnan, Frito-Lay,
  24. Jamie Moldafsky, Wells Fargo,
  25. Michael Sprague, Kia Motors America,
  26. Clive Sirkin, Kimberly-Clark,
  27. Eric Liedtke, Adidas,
  28. Clarence Gooden, CSX,
  29. Ken Chaplin, TransUnion,
  30. Ann Glover, Voya Financial,
  31. Patrice Bula, Nestle S.A,
  32. Karen Quintos, DELL,
  33. Russell Wager, Mazda,
  34. Raja Rajamannar, MasterCard,
  35. Ola Kallenius, Daimler,
  36. Jeff Lucas, Viacom,
  37. David Doctorow, Expedia,
  38. Dean Evans, Hyundai,
  39. Jon Iwata, IBM,
  40. Peter Horst, Hershey,
  41. Loren Angelo, Audi,
  42. Andrea Riley, Ally,
  43. Syl Saller, Diageo,
  44. Steve Fund, Intel,
  45. Leontyne Green Sykes, Ikea,
  46. Jeffrey Jones, Target,
  47. Tom Peyton, Honda,
  48. Stephanie Linnarts, Marriott,
  49. Ann Simonds, General Mills, and
  50. Antonio Lucio, HP.

Related» Apple’s Phil Schiller has topped the 2014 Forbes list of the world’s most influential CMOs for the third year in a row.

Ben Ice
BY Ben Ice ON 11 November 2015