Global Power List 2010: L - P

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 02 July 2010 12:00AM

L

LAGARDERE, ARNAUD

Job: CEO

Company: Lagardere Group

Age: 49

Killer power fact

Lagardere is not just the boss of one of France's most important media companies, he's part of the political establishment too. He became a member of the French Legion d'Honneur in January 2009.

Path to power

Lagardere had already forged his own career in media, becoming the CEO of the publishing house Grolier in the US as far back as 1994 - but he inherited the Lagardere corporation when his father died in 2003.

Deals and deeds

He has been manoeuvring to sell off the company's 20 per cent stake in the French television channel Canal+ to finance a fresh round of acquisitions.

What people say

"Whatever happens, he will be protected by Nicolas Sarkozy" - Le Monde quotes a highly placed source commenting on Lagardere's close friendship with the French president, and how this might help him fend off accusations of insider trading.

Would you believe it?

He shares his father's passion for sports, but not his obsession with horses. One of the first things he did after his father's death was to sell his famous bloodstock stables to the Aga Khan.

The year ahead

Lagardere wants to steer the group away from its historical roots in the defence industries and has made it clear he will sell the company's remaining stake in the Franco-German EADS group when market conditions improve. The focus will now be on its media assets, notably Hachette.

LAI, JIMMY

Job: Founder and chairman

Company: Next Media

Age: 62

Killer power fact

Media mogul Lai was educated to primary school level, smuggled to Hong Kong aboard a small boat at the age of 12 and worked as a child labourer in a garment factory for a wage of $8 per month.

Path to power

After founding and selling retail chain Giordano for a cool $187 million, Lai built Next Media from scratch to become Singapore's largest listed media conglomerate, and then successfully launched the operation in Taiwan.

Deals and deeds

Lai's Apple Daily newspaper, inspired by the paparazzi journalism of the West, received a barrage of complaints from concerned parents after broadcasting explicit, erotic and violent content on its animated news channel.

What he says

An unrelenting advocate of democracy, Lai is pretty clear here: "All my rivals have been writing rubbish about me."

What people say

"This is a guy who is instinctively tough."

Would you believe it?

In 2008, 50-year-old Huang Nan-hua made an attempt to assassinate Lai, a longtime critic of Beijing. Lai revealed this news a day before the 2009 20th anniversary Tiananmen Square incident march.

The year ahead

With licences for several new channels pending, Next Media's success in Taiwan remains to be seen.

LAW, NICK

Job: Executive VP and chief creative officer, North America

Company: R/GA

Age: "40-something"

Killer power fact

R/GA has been a digital/brand powerhouse for many years and Law has played an integral role in shaping the agency's success.

Path to power

Law joined R/GA in 2001, 24 years after its launch as a motion-design graphics company specialising in film. R/GA evolved into one of the first interactive agencies and later to a full-service digital agency. Law's work has won numerous international awards.

Within a year of joining, he was promoted to become the VP of visual design and then named as the executive creative director on the Nike account.

Deals and deeds

R/GA has launched a brand design division - called Brand Design - that has been set up to bridge the gap between brand theory and practice.

What he says

"The trend in the whole industry is the blurring of disciplines. It's not just this binary relationship between traditional and interactive agencies. We compete against companies that design software and do industrial design, and there are times that we compete against PR agencies or brand and identity companies."

What people say

He's one of advertising's heavy hitters. "Proving once again that digital interaction can be as powerful as a logo, the tech agency pulled off a slew of interactive feats - from Nokia's mobile social geotagging viNe tool to voice-activated digital billboards in Times Square for Verizon's Droid launch" - Fast Company.

Would you believe it?

Law was once voted the fifth sexiest man in advertising by the website Agency Spy.

The year ahead

R/GA's star will continue ascending as the wave of data-driven applications grows.

LEBEDEV, ALEXANDER

Job: Proprietor

Company: Independent Print Limited

Age: 50

Killer power fact

He's one of Russia's most successful businessmen, a member of the Russian parliament, the Duma - and is now hoping to shake up the newspaper business in the UK.

Path to power

His investment company acquired a Russian bank, which then became a significant investor in the likes of the revered aerospace company Aeroflot and the energy company Gazprom.

Deals and deeds

His first venture in the media world was as the co-owner of the Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. In January 2009, Lebedev bought a controlling interest in London's evening newspaper, the Evening Standard for £1. In March 2010 Lebedev bought two UK national newspapers, The Independent and Independent on Sunday, again for a grand total of £1.

What he says

"A good way to lose money" - Lebedev shows he has a sense of humour in his description of the newspaper industry.

What people say

"Lebedev is trying to do something so the country will be better. But he knows that if he does anything to offend people in power there will be punishment" - a Russian newspaper columnist on Lebedev's balancing act.

Would you believe it?

He became an Anglophile (even sending his children to a Church of England school) while serving as a KGB agent at the Soviet embassy in London.

The year ahead

Observers assume he's about to do something eye-catching with The Independent - possibly turning it (as he did with the Standard) into a free newspaper.

LEBOWITZ, MICHAEL

Job: Founder and CEO

Company: Big Spaceship

Age: "30-something"

Killer power fact

He makes interactive marketing fun. Over the past decade, the digital creative agency Big Spaceship has gained worldwide recognition for its innovative work and technological achievements in areas from movies to online gaming. Along the way, Lebowitz has garnered an Emmy nomination, Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show Pencils, Webbies, FWA, Communication Arts, W3 and Pixel Awards.

Path to power

Lebowitz opened Big Spaceship in 2000 in out of the way Dumbo, under the Brooklyn Bridge, "to do cool work".

Much of its early work was done for the film industry, and then Gucci and others came calling. In recent years Big Spaceship has become more of a full-service agency doing interactive campaigns for clients such as Sony, Nike, Coca-Cola, and Ford.

Deals and deeds

The agency has just opened an office in Los Angeles.

What he says

"The whole 'traditional versus digital' conversation is a bit of a distraction. The real question is how we play nice with each other, because there are way too many different services available now for one group to hold them all in-house."

What people say

"Big Spaceship has achieved a level of success where they can choose their assignments and clients based on how well they can execute the work and how interesting or educational it is for them" - One magazine.

Would you believe it?

Big Spaceship's team-based structure has been the subject of a case study by Harvard Business School. Released in February 2009, HBS's study tried to ponder how Big Spaceship could grow while still maintaining the culture that has been so key to its success.

The year ahead

Lebowitz wants to do some books, if he can find the time.

LEE, BESSIE

Job: CEO

Company: Group M China

Age: 45

Killer power fact

As head of Group M China, Lee is steering a path separate from the rest of the region and reports directly to the global HQ.

Path to power

Claiming to be inspired by Sir Martin Sorrell's continued ability to expand, Lee took on her current role after less than two years as head of Mindshare, also in China.

Deals and deeds

Since her appointment, Lee has been placed among China's top ten most creative media professionals by the China Economic Newspaper Association, and named one of China's top female business leaders by the All-China Women's Federation. Under her leadership, Group M China has achieved distinction from the rest of the network and was last year declared a regional operation in its own right.

What she says

"There is no glass ceiling for women in the media industry."

What people say

"A cool thinker in a media hothouse"- one observer's judgment.

Would you believe it?

Lee's media agency career was unplanned, having set out to work as an account executive at JWT in her native Taiwan. Finding no such opening at the agency, she gave media a try.

The year ahead

Lee is expecting a strong year and says she wouldn't be surprised if China sees a return to double-digit growth. She claims to be involved in a number of new initiatives at Group M, including new strategic partnerships and a stronger talent-development programme.

LEVY, JEAN-BERNARD

Job: CEO

Company: Vivendi

Age: 55

Killer power fact

International media conglomerate Vivendi, which used to be a French utility giant, is one of the country's most high-profile companies, with activities spanning music, TV, film, publishing and telecoms, Levy is a Chevalier of the Legion of Honour and an Officier de l'ordre national du Merite.

Path to power

Having worked his way up through the ranks at a number of French electronics and telecoms companies, including France Telecom and Matra, he became the director-general of Vivendi in 2002, rising to his current position in 2005.

Deals and deeds

Vivendi recent bought a 5.1 per cent stake in its pay-TV channel Canal+ France from M6-Metropole Television for EUR384.2 million, boosting its total holding to 80 per cent.

What he says

"Vivendi is not interested in Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer" - Levy dismisses speculation back in March that he was about to bid for the studios.

What people say

Some analysts are cool on Vivendi's eyeing up of the Brazilian telecom sector, fearful that it faces too much competition out there to make it worth its while.

Would you believe it?

Levy is relaxed about the fact that Vivendi has, to use his phrase, "as little advertising as possible".

The year ahead

Levy is looking to sell Vivendi's stake in NBC to fund expansion into emerging markets, notably in South America. It recently announced that it would be merging its Vivendi Games unit with Activision in an $18.8 billion deal. This will allow the merged company, Activision Blizzard, to rival Electronic Arts, the world's biggest video games publisher.

LEVY, MAURICE

Job: Chairman and CEO

Company: Publicis Groupe

Age: 68

Killer power fact

He's the driving force behind the Publicis transformation from a modest Paris-based European network into the world's fourth-largest marketing communications company.

Path to power

He joined Publicis in 1971 as its IT director and claims he was told on his first day by Marcel Bleustein-Blanchet, the Publicis founder, that one day he would run the place.

Deals and deeds

Saatchi & Saatchi, Fallon and Leo Burnett are all part of the Publicis Groupe stable thanks to his deal-making. The group has plenty of digital assets as a result of his $1.3 billion acquisition of Digitas in 2007 and last year's acquisition of Razorfish for $530 million.

What he says

"I've had a clear strategy in mind for many years. I may at times act in an opportunist way - but I will manage those opportunities."

What people say

"It seems reasonable to wonder whether he is the first Frenchman since Napoleon to have 'world domination' on his to-do list" - The Independent.

Would you believe it?

Levy prevented Publicis going fully public by brokering a deal after a boardroom row between Bleustein-Blanchet's daughters, Elisabeth and Michele. Levy headed off a threat by Michele to sell her shares by turning her into one of the richest women in France. She is worth an estimated £100 million.

The year ahead

Levy has been bullish in predicting better times ahead. But he has the challenge of successfully integrating his digital businesses into the existing offering. He's due to retire at the end of 2011. The board persuaded him to stay three years ago. Will it try again?

LI, ROBIN

Job: Co-founder, chairman and CEO

Company: Baidu

Age: 41

Killer power fact

This is the man who beat Google in China (even before Google created a fuss by refusing to censor its search engine, Baidu had been whipping it in China). He has turned Baidu into China's largest search engine, with a market share above 70 per cent and the most internet users on the planet. It is the third-largest independent search engine in the world, and the first Chinese company to be included in the NASDAQ-100 Index.

Path to power

Li studied information management at Peking University and the State University of New York at Buffalo. His first job was toiling away for a financial database company owned by Dow Jones, until in 2000 he founded Baidu with Eric Xu, and has been the CEO since 2004.

Deals and deeds

Last year, Li expanded outside of China with the launch of a Japanese version of Baidu.

What he says

"If (Bill Gates) is worried about Google he will probably be more worried about Baidu somewhere down the road."

What people say

According to Businessweek, Li has successfully "out-Googled Google".

Would you believe it?

Li's wealth has almost doubled since 2008. His net worth is $3.5 billion. Not bad for a decade's work.

The year ahead

With Google out of the picture in China, Baidu's future and growth prospects have never been brighter.

LUBARS, DAVE

Job: Chairman and chief creative officer

Company: BBDO

Age: 51

Killer power fact

Lubars has overseen BBDO's creative transformation from the agency known as the swaggering king of the blockbuster commercial to an innovative, risk-taking and visionary multimedia shop.

Today, BBDO still wins awards for its work in traditional media, but also creates extraordinary things for clients in new media.

Path to power

After rising through jobs at Chiat/Day/LA and Leonard/Monahan, Lubars landed at BBDO's West Coast office. He then moved to Fallon and in 2001, helped create a series of short web films for BMW called "the hire", which were hailed as a model of branded content. This catapulted Lubars to cutting-edge creative director status. With Andrew Robertson (see entry on p49) in the CEO seat, Lubars rejoined BBDO in 2004. It is impossible to keep up with all the awards he and his agency have won.

Deals and deeds

The agency is helping to redesign a clothing line for one client and getting ready to launch a prime-time network TV series this summer for another.

What he says

On his most difficult creative challenge last year: "Every year of my career has been difficult and challenging - it all blurs into one big ball of stress."

What people say

"He has this whole attention-deficit disorder thing going on, where he constantly jumps from one thing to the next" - Bruce Bildsten told Business 2.0.

Would you believe it?

Fast Company chose Lubars as the real life ad guy most resembling Mad Men's fictional main character, Don Draper.

The year ahead

More innovation, more awards, more stress.

M

MA, HUATENG "PONY"

Job: Founder and chairman

Company: Tencent

Age: 38

Killer power fact

Tencent is one of the biggest web companies in China. Ma not only rode the internet boom in China, to a large extent he created it, building an online community that connected the generations affected by China's one-child policy, giving them a place to make friends.

Path to power

Computer science graduate Ma founded Tencent in 1998 and the following year launched its QQ instant messaging service that quickly became the most popular social media tool in China. Since then, Ma has diversified the company's offering to include gaming, search, video and content portals.

Deals and deeds

Tencent recently posted gross profits of $1.25 billion, up by more than 70 per cent from the previous year. Ma is now taking steps to establish Tencent overseas. In April the company invested $300 million in the Russian internet firm Digital Sky Technologies, a deal that brings together two internet powerhouses from the world's emerging markets.

What he says

Vast as it is, the internet yields no quotes from fabulously wealthy Ma.

What people say

"(Ma is) a modern hero, especially among China's young people" - Jack Ma (no relation, but see right), head of Alibaba, China's top e-commerce group.

Would you believe it?

Ma's family name means "horse" in Mandarin, hence his English name "Pony".

The year ahead

All eyes are on how Tencent will diversify its online offerings, with online video expected to be a major investment. Google's exit from China could also be a shot in the arm for Tencent's fledgling search engine, Soso.com.

As for that investment in Digital Sky Technologies of Russia: can a Chinese internet giant transfer its success to other markets?

MA, JACK

Job: Founder, chairman and CEO

Company: Alibaba Group

Age: 46

Killer power fact

Ma is responsible for creating what is billed as the world's biggest online marketplace.

Path to power

Ma started out as an English teacher.

After a stint as head of the China International Electronic Commerce Center's Infoshare division, he founded Alibaba.com in 1999, a China-based B2B site that serves more than 40 million members from more than 240 countries and territories.

Alibaba Group is now a holding company with five subsidiaries - Alibaba.com, Taobao, Alipay, Alibaba Cloud Computing and China Yahoo!.

Deals and deeds

Ma was the first major world business leader to predict the economic downturn in a memo to staff in July 2008, which was subsequently made public.

What he says

"The day we got connected to the web, I invited friends and TV people over to my house," and, on a very slow dial-up connection, "we waited three-and-a-half hours and got half a page ... We drank, watched TV and played cards, waiting. But I was so proud. I proved (to my house guests that) the internet existed."

What people say

Adi Ignatius, the former senior editor of Time and editor-in-chief of the Harvard Business Review, said: "Meeting Jack Ma, you might be forgiven for thinking he's still an English teacher."

Would you believe it?

Ma failed his exam for university twice before he was accepted by what some consider to be a duff place of learning, Hangzhou Teachers University. Who's laughing now?

The year ahead

Thumbs up.

Alibaba has money to play with (the group has just invested $732 million into its online payment service).

MACLENNAN, MORAY

Job: Worldwide CEO

Company: M&C Saatchi

Age: 48

Killer power fact

A long-serving Saatchi loyalist, his reward is surely going to be the leadership of M&C Saatchi when the founding partners cash in their chips.

Path to power

He's never worked anywhere that didn't have the brothers' name on the door. He built his reputation handling some of their biggest accounts and was one of the first to follow them out of Charlotte Street and into M&C Saatchi in 1995.

Deals and deeds

As IPA president in 2007 he tried to promote advertising's value in boardrooms and establish the industry as central to the success of brands. He was handed the new role of worldwide CEO at M&C Saatchi in December 2008.

What he says

"I once thought of being a lawyer because I thought I was good at arguing and I think there are parallels between the law and our business which does require great flexibility of thought."

What people say

"He's no shrinking violet and, being steeped in the Saatchis' 'nothing is impossible' philosophy, it's not surprising to learn he doesn't like to blindly follow others' rules" - official verdict on the result of his IPA Diagonal Thinking test.

Would you believe it?

He has a place in IPA history as the first president in 93 years to deliver his inaugural speech tie-less. He also won a case of champagne from somebody who bet he couldn't work "fuck" and "bollocks" into his ISBA conference address.

The year ahead

He faces a formidable challenge transforming M&C Saatchi from a loose federation of offices heavily reliant on local business into a credible global network capable of attracting internationally aligned accounts.

MALONE, JOHN C

Job: Chairman

Company: Liberty Media

Age: 69

Killer power fact

Malone is a ferociously tenacious operator -while at TCI he was given the nickname Darth Vader by Al Gore because of his determination to escape regulatory constraints.

Path to power

Aside from a brief spell as a consultant at McKinsey, Malone has spent his career moving up the management chain at a succession of telecoms companies. Malone created Liberty Media when CEO of cable conglomerate TCI, as an offshoot to house the group's consumer-facing units. When the technology divisions of TCI were sold to AT&T 1999, Malone crossed to head up Liberty.

Deals and deeds

Malone has gambled $530 million on buying into the struggling satellite radio broadcaster Sirius XM Radio.

What he says

"What you really are afraid of is that you're competing against somebody who is rich and irrational. I mean, it used to be a given, a saying in the industry, 'Don't ever bid against Rupert Murdoch for anything Rupert wants, because if you win you lose. You will have paid way too much.'"

What people say

"Malone doesn't look like much of a rocker, but he sure knows how to roll" - Motley Fool, on the proposed acquisition of concert promoter Live Nation.

Would you believe it?

Allegedly, his preferred choice of holiday for a family trip is a "recreation vehicle" - a luxury van that is still, when you come down to it, a camper van.

The year ahead

There's speculation that Liberty, which owns chunky stakes in a range of rival media companies, not least Time Warner, could be gearing up for an aggressive phase of acquisition.

MARCOPOTO, STEVE

Job: President and MD, Asia-Pacific

Company: Turner Broadcasting

Age: 54

Killer power fact

Under Marcopoto's leadership, Turner Asia-Pacific grew from two networks - the number he managed when he joined - to the current 23.

Path to power

After a degree in mass communications at Seton Hall University in Pennsylvania, Marcopoto rose to become the MD of media-representative company Seavex. He then moved to Fortune Asia, where he was the MD, and then to Time Asia as the publisher. By 1995 he was the president of Time Inc Asia and then promoted to his current role in 1998.

Deals and deeds

This year, Marcopoto steered his network through its acquisition of Imagine TV group in India, growing Turner's offerings by three channels, and continued driving Turner's digital expansion with launch of the CNNGo website and two online games.

What he says

"Everything I needed to succeed in the media business I learned as a newspaper delivery boy. When you need collaboration, hire on personality and train on skill."

What people say

"He's a showman, and he's always game for a laugh. He's got a warped sense of humour, but in a good way, and he's never shy about dressing up" - a source quoted in a 2007 profile piece on Marcopoto.

Would you believe it?

Marcopoto played a TV repairman in Wayne Wang's film Eat A Bowl Of Tea and recently opened a long range planning meeting with a spoof ad for erectile dysfunction.

The year ahead

With its strategy to expand its presence in key markets such as India and China, Turner is likely to have a strong 2010, fuelled by the number of new internet users in these markets.

MAYS, MARK

Job: CEO and president

Company: Clear Channel Communications

Age: 43

Killer power fact

Mays has been working to reinvent the US outdoor business for the digital age.

Path to power

Mays took over as the president and CEO in October 2004, after serving the company in other roles. He is the son of Lester Lowry Mays, Clear Channel Media's chairman emeritus.

Deals and deeds

Clear Channel's outdoor division has been working behind the scenes in several cities to persuade local authorities to allow the erection of more digital billboards - there's been a surprising resistance to this innovation in the US.

What he says

"These types of recessions can be brutal things. They force tough decisions every day. They demand focus and clarity all the time."

What people say

"This isn't a pay cut - it's a raise that Marky Mark is calling a pay cut. How dumb does he think his employees are?"

- the Inside Music Media blog on Mays' offer to take a 40 per cent (almost $1 million) pay cut in response to the downturn.

Would you believe it?

In October 2007, 41 Democratic United States Senators sent a letter of request to Mays, asking him to renounce Rush Limbaugh, the controversial presenter of a syndicated talk radio show, following an on-air diatribe in which he referred to military personnel who disagreed with the Iraq war as "phony soldiers". Mays acceded to the request.

The year ahead

2009 was a brutal year for Clear Channel, though fourth quarter figures published in the spring indicated that advertising revenues have begun to rally.

MCCOLL, BRUCE

Job: Global chief marketing officer

Company: Mars Inc

Age: 47

Killer power fact

Mars is the world's second-biggest confectioner and parent of the Wrigley, Whiskas, M&Ms and Snickers brands. It spent nearly $2 billion on media worldwide in 2008.

Path to power

McColl's marketing career spans 23 years, 18 of which have been spent at Mars. He first worked for Mars as a brand manager in the company's Australian Mars Petcare unit. He was made global chief marketing officer in 2006.

Deals and deeds

Until Kraft bought Cadbury this year, Mars was the world's biggest confectioner for a brief time after it acquired Wrigley in 2008 for $23 billion. McColl then revamped Mars' global agency structure, placing its snack food and pet brands with single creative agencies to save costs. BBDO Worldwide regained the $30 million US Snickers account from TBWA\Chiat Day. However, TBWA won Whiskas in the reshuffle, with MediaVest bagging Mars' media accounts.

What he says

"Byron Sharp (author of How Brands Grow) told me that the concept of marketing I had been applying for 20 years was the business parallel to medieval blood-letting. That my brands survived despite my best ministrations, not because of them! Harsh, but in hindsight not completely unfounded."

What people say

"The notoriously secretive Mars Inc has fastidiously kept its executives out of the limelight, preferring to let its global food brands do the talking" - Marketing.

Would you believe it?

Privacy-obsessed Mars, run by the Virginia-based Mars family, is said to blindfold contractors when escorting them through factories.

The year ahead

Mars may seek critical mass with another attempt to buy its arch-rival, Hershey

MCDONELL, TERRY

Job: Editor-in-chief

Publication: Sports Illustrated

Age: 65

Killer power fact

McDonell is not just one of America's most accomplished journalists, with a truly astonishing CV, he's also now one of the most influential people in world sport.

Path to power

McDonell worked on or launched countless magazines in the 60s and 70s and by 1981 he was the managing editor of Rolling Stone. He was an assistant managing editor of Newsweek from 1983 to 1985 before launching Smart, a men's lifestyle magazine; he then served as editor-in-chief of Esquire from 1990 to 1993, editor-in-chief and publisher of big-game hunting magazine Sports Afield from 1994 to 1997, editor-in-chief of Men's Journal from 1997 to 2000, and VP of Wenner Media and editor-in-chief of the gossip magazine Us Weekly from 2000 to 2002. He was hired as the managing editor (only the eighth in its history) of Sports Illustrated in 2002 and became editor-in-chief in 2006.

Deals and deeds

He has been pioneering the development of HTML5, not just for Sports Illustrated but for the magazine industry as a whole.

What he says

"HTML5 is a real breakthrough for magazines."

Would you believe it?

Sports Illustrated is read by 23 million US adults each week, including 19 per cent of the country's men.

The year ahead

One of his top priorities is honing the design of the magazine's version for tablet computers and the iPad.

MCLENNAN, HAMISH

Job: Chairman and CEO

Company: Young & Rubicam

Age: 43

Killer power fact

McLennan is the first non-American to lead Young & Rubicam Advertising in its 87-year history. He has a powerful patron in Sir Martin Sorrell, the boss of Y&R's WPP parent.

Path to power

He's a one-time agency mailroom boy who made his name by turning around the Y&R operation in Australia and New Zealand, quadrupling its revenue in four years.

Deals and deeds

Equipping Y&R for the digital age has been his preoccupation. He emerged from "quite a lonely place" last year after settlement of a legal action in which he was accused of "misleading and deceptive conduct" in WPP's acquisition of the Australian agency George Patterson and The Communications Group. "You know who your true friends are when you go through something like that," he said.

What he says

On travel: "I don't believe in showing up just to show up. If I'm going somewhere, I've got a personal role and a contribution to make."

What people say

"McLennan is a political animal who has been assiduous about getting close to Sorrell. He likes entrepreneurs who will get things done and McLennan is certainly capable of doing that."

Would you believe it?

McLennan is thick with fellow Aussie Rupert Murdoch, even managing to persuade the mogul to take part in a session with him at the Cannes Festival.

The year ahead

Y&R has been fortunate not to have had some of the big-name clients that have suffered most during the economic crisis. However, McLennan still faces the tough challenge of getting a consistent offering by Y&R's 184 offices across the world.

MCROBERTS, STEVE

Job: Executive director, marketing

Company: Tourism Queensland

Age: 46

Killer power fact

McRoberts is the client behind the "best job in the world". Starting from a small direct marketing idea, it sent the profile of the Great Barrier Reef islands into the stratosphere (and also saw Cumminsnitro sweep the board at ad festivals).

Path to power

McRoberts honed his skills in global branding at the beer brand Foster's, where he helped refresh the parts of some of Australia's biggest brand campaigns. He was appointed executive director, marketing, at Tourism Queensland in 2004.

Deals and deeds

McRoberts steered what seemed to his seniors a risky campaign: using a global classified online ad to invite applications for an island keeper job. But the job site attracted 55 million page views from 8.5 million unique visitors and 35,000 people applied for the post. The campaign lifted three Grands Prix at Cannes - unprecedented in the awards' history - and generated media coverage worth an estimated £240 million.

What he says

His new island caretaker recruit had a wonderful opportunity for some "fair dinkum Aussie fun".

What people say

While McRoberts is described in fairly ordinary terms as "a stocky family man with short gray hair" (by online news site ClickZ); his campaign is certainly not. Said Lord Tim Bell, the chairman of Chime Communications: "I think it's one of the greatest campaigns I have ever seen."

Would you believe it?

McRoberts and his team were accused of "bikini bias", favouring young people who would look good in swimwear. They had to ditch one finalist who was found to have links with the porn industry.

The year ahead

How on earth will he top 2009?

MODI, LALIT

Job: Chairman

Company: Indian Premier League

Age: 46

Killer power fact

Modi is the architect of the Indian Premier League, an annual tournament that has brought Bollywood magic to cricket and may even turn cricket into a global phenomenon to rival the football World Cup. The three-year-old venture's success means it is valued at $4 billion, thanks to merchandising and broadcasting deals.

Path to power

In just a decade, tycoon's son Modi has bulldozed his way into the powerhouse that is Indian cricket. Once on the sport's main controlling board, he showed his commercial acumen by increasing revenues sevenfold. That gave him the powerbase from which to launch his concept for the IPL.

Deals and deeds

Modi's genius was to marry the excitement of the English Premier League with the franchise proposition of the US NFL, mixing it up with billionaire industrialists, Bollywood glamour and broadcasting cash from TV to grab a huge domestic audience and an ever-increasing international audience. Launched in 2008, the IPL has survived allegations of corruption and threats of terrorism.

What he says

"I'm a custodian of cricket. The IPL is about accruing audiences, not money."

What people say

"The IPL is a symbol of India's ambition (to become) a true global power and Modi is a successor to Gandhi, in Gucci loafers" - The Times.

Would you believe it?

While at university in America, Modi pleaded guilty to second-degree kidnapping and assault, receiving a suspended sentence. Modi is listed as one of the ten biggest taxpayers in India.

The year ahead

Providing Modi survives the very Indian allegations of bribery, corruption and shady dealings, he'll progress on the same upward trajectory as the IPL.

MONTAGUE, TY

Job: TBA

Company: TBA

Age: 47

Killer power fact

As the chairman and chief creative officer of JWT North America, Montague helped transform a big old agency into one people could almost call a creative powerhouse. He helped pull in accounts such as Microsoft, resulting in the launch of Bing. He has won every award going and his departure, in March, along with Rosemarie Ryan, the president of North America for JWT, left the agency reeling.

Path to power

He started out working in the McCann Erickson mailroom. After spells at Chiat/Day, Goldsmith/Jeffrey and Bartle Bogle Hegarty, the peripatetic Montague briefly ran his own agency. In 2000, he joined Wieden & Kennedy, New York, where he memorably worked on ESPN's initial "this is SportsCenter" spots, and created Sega's visionary "Beta-7"viral.

He decamped to JWT in 2005.

Deals and deeds

He is launching his own agency (his second) in 2010 with Ryan.

What he says

"Today we have to think of everything we make as creative content."

What people say

Normal is probably the best way to describe Montague. "He's not into lecturing or pontificating. Doesn't claim to know 'the' way to save the industry" - said ad industry website Ihaveanidea.org in a profile piece on him.

Would you believe it?

Montague, a college dropout who spent his earlier years fixing Italian sports cars, also worked as a river guide.

The year ahead

Rumour has it that his new agency will be more marketing consultancy than ad agency. With the economy recovering, the timing's certainly good.

MOONVES, LESLEY

Job: President and CEO

Company: CBS

Age: 60

Killer power fact

He's one of the smartest operators in the US television business - and he has signed a new contract that will keep him in place until 2015.

Path to power

He shifted effortlessly from being an actor to being a TV producer, initially at 20th Century Fox and Warner Brothers in the 80s and 90s, before joining CBS in 1995. From April 1998 until 2003, he was the president and CEO at CBS Television, he was then promoted to be the chairman and CEO of CBS in 2003.

Deals and deeds

Moonves has been bullish this year, not least because the network's Super Bowl coverage pulled in a record-breaking audience of 106.5 million. Now he's asking advertisers to pay higher rates and has been courting controversy by asking affiliates and cable companies to pay more to carry CBS programming.

What he says

"I was rather surprised when people expected us to have Avatar as our first movie" - on the disappointing performance of Extraordinary Measures, the company's first foray into feature films, released in January 2010.

What people say

"Les Moonves is clearly one of the most successful leaders in the television business today" - Fred Moran, a media analyst at Stanford Group.

Would you believe it?

In his early career, Moonves was a television actor, playing tough guys on Cannon and The Six Million Dollar Man.

The year ahead

New media strategy could dominate Moonves' thinking, not least as sister company Viacom continues its action against YouTube.

MURDOCH, RUPERT

Job: Chairman and CEO

Company: News Corporation

Age: 79

Killer power fact

A controversial media tsar with the reputation of being (in a business sense) able to see around corners, he's also a political heavyweight too. His Fox network is a cheerleader for the Right in the US and his media outlets have endorsed the winner in every UK General Election in the UK since 1979.

Path to power

Murdoch inherited his father's Australian press empire and began expanding it unrelentingly, both geographically and into audio-visual media.

Deals and deeds

Murdoch's most controversial move this year was the announcement that he was introducing online pay-walls to many of his news sites.

What he says

"I'm a catalyst for change. You can't be an outsider and be successful over 30 years without leaving a certain amount of scar tissue around the place."

What people say

"He's not the man that people think he is. He is actually a closet liberal, but he hides it really well" - David Yelland, a former editor of The Sun.

Would you believe it?

As a student at Oxford University in the 50s, he was an ardent supporter of the UK's socialist Labour Party - and gave pride of place on the mantelpiece in his college rooms to a bust of Lenin.

The year ahead

The pay-wall issue will gather pace, but there are equally pressing new media issues - such as improving the performance of MySpace, which has been eclipsed by rival social networking sites such as Facebook.

MURDOCH, JAMES

Job: Chairman and CEO, Europe and Asia

Company: News Corporation

Age: 37

Killer power fact

Although initially regarded as the most maverick of Rupert Murdoch's children (not least when he set up a hip hop record label in the 90s), he has gradually emerged as the most likely heir-apparent to the Murdoch media empire.

Path to power

In the 90s he worked on News Corp's then nascent digital interests before heading east to head up Star TV. In 2003 he became the CEO of BSkyB before moving to his current position overseeing the group's non-US interests.

Deals and deeds

Murdoch has been instrumental in developing News Corp's pay-wall strategy for its online newspaper properties - and is unequivocal in his hostility towards Google and Yahoo!, who, he says unashamedly, make money out of News Corp content.

What he says

"We need enforcement mechanisms and we need governments to play ball ... There is no difference with going into a store and stealing Pringles or a handbag and taking this stuff." Murdoch clarifies his position on illegal downloading.

What people say

"Our starting point is what is in the interests of the public and the BBC agrees with James Murdoch's analysis that we need to trust them. And the public tell us that they, in turn, trust the BBC and value the wide range of services we provide" - Sir Michael Lyons, chairman of the BBC Trust, responds to Murdoch's Edinburgh Festival MacTaggart Lecture speech last year, in which he'd described BBC's empire building as "chilling".

Would you believe it?

His father bought his hip hop record label, Rawkus Records, in 1998, to facilitate James' return to the bosom of the family business.

The year ahead

The focus will very much be on the online performance of News Corp's flagship UK newspapers, The Times and The Sunday Times, when they set up pay-walls.

MYHREN, TOR

Job: Chief creative officer

Company: Grey, New York

Age: 38

Killer power fact

Thanks largely to E*Trade's "talking baby" campaign, Myhren has achieved the near-impossible and made staid, 93-year-old Grey, New York, cool. He joined the agency in 2007.

Path to power

This former journalist stumbled into advertising with a portfolio of short stories and poetry. He was a co-founder of Wong/Doody/LA, a creative director at TBWA\Chiat\Day\LA, helping propel Infiniti to stardom and executive creative director of Leo Burnett, Detroit. Myhren's broad range of work is embraced by both pop culture and the ad community.

For example, there was that Oprah car giveaway, Obama's viral "race switch" poster and an ad at the end of an episode of The Apprentice that sold out one year's supply of the Pontiac Solstice car in 41 minutes. It doesn't hurt that Grey, New York's operating profit shot up in 2009 as the company won 17 of 19 pitches, adding more than $600 million in billings.

Deals and deeds

Myhren recently finished his first film, City Lax: An Urban Lacrosse Story.

What he says

"The minute you completely stop doing the creative work, that's when you're done."

What people say

"He impressed the hell out of us" - Nick Utton, chief marketing officer for E*Trade.

Would you believe it?

To celebrate the agency's move to new offices, Myhren recorded a warbling parody of Sinead O'Connor's video for Nothing Compares 2 U. It went viral under the title "nothing compares to 2".

The year ahead

He will be assimilating those 17 wins including BMW, Ketel One and the NFL. He'll also be getting used to those new offices, though he does have the help of a psychologist the company hired.

N

NATHANSON, MICHAEL

Job: Global media analyst

Company: Sanford Bernstein

Killer power fact

One of only two analysts in this book (see Lorna Tilbian's entry on p57) Nathanson is the most respected media analyst in the US. He's been described as the most thoughtful observer of the business anywhere at the moment.

Path to power

His expertise across a wide range of media is borne out of more than a decade as an analyst at Sanford Bernstein and his wide previous experience with companies such as People magazine, where he was director of TV development, and as business manager for Time Inc Ventures Television.

Deals and deeds

Institutional Investor magazine ranked him the number one analyst in the entertainment sector from 2006 to 2008.

What he says

Recalling the famous scene in Sunset Boulevard in which a screenwriter tells the faded silent-film star Norma Desmond, "you used to be big", Nathanson said, "sadly, the same might be said for the DVD industry".

What people say

"He's a terribly bright guy even if he does take some slightly contrarian views" - senior executive of US-based marketing communications group.

Would you believe it?

He suffered embarrassment earlier this year when he was quoted talking up the virtues of NBC Universal without disclosing he was the brother-in-law of Jeff Zucker, the NBCU boss.

The year ahead

The ad industry will be hoping to hear more optimistic words from Nathanson who sees the rally in ad-sensitive stocks as reflecting the "positive momentum" in US national and local TV advertising.

NEWHOUSE JUNIOR, SAMUEL IRVING

Job: Chairman and CEO

Company: Advance Publications

Age: 82

Killer power fact

The owner of Conde Nast and many other media outlets has a mission to carry a torch for quality, glossy magazines.

Path to power

He is the son of Samuel Irving Newhouse Senior, founder of Advance Publications.

Deals and deeds

Advance Internet recently signed an important deal with Microsoft Advertising that will allow Advance to offer behavioural targeting to its local advertisers.

What he says

"We are the top-end publisher and it has served us well, and I believe it will stand the test. Painting cheap stripes on Conde Nast and saying we're going to serve up Conde Nast Lite would be a huge mistake" - on suggestions that he needs radically to cut costs.

What people say

"He runs his business more like an old-fashioned proprietor, according to his interests, his tastes, like Henry Luce or Hearst did" - an analyst at the DeSilva and Phillips investment bank.

Would you believe it?

He likes to arrive at the office before dawn.

The year ahead

Senior executives under Si, including other members of the Newhouse clan, have been arguing for years that the company should invest more and move faster in the online world. There are signs that this is happening now - and with the group deriving a growing proportion of its incomes from its cable interests, the focus of the company is continuing to shift.

NEWMARK, CRAIG

Job: Founder and now its most famous customer service representative

Company: Craigslist

Age: 57

Killer power fact

More by accident than design, Craigslist has effectively hastened the end of local US newspapers by destroying their classified advertising. According to Comscore figures from 2009, its audience is 60 per cent of the entire US newspapers classified category.

Path to power

Set up in 1995 by programmer Newmark as a simple e-mail distribution list for his friends, Craigslist rapidly developed as a community classified ads site across the US, with three key distinctions: one, everything was free, apart from job ads in some cities and apartment listings in New York; two, it's ad-free; and three, local communities police the content. Despite its clunky design, the site has become the definitive classified site for the internet age.

Deals and deeds

A not-for-profit enterprise, Craigslist is believed to have revenues of about $200 million. Newmark passed on the leadership and a chunk of the shares to Jim Buckmaster, the CEO, in 2000. Following widespread criticism, Craigslist dropped its "erotic services" section and listings in the "adult" category are pre-approved.

What he says

Newmark calls himself the "Forrest Gump of the internet".

What people say

Some wonder at the apparent dichotomy between Craigslist's casual approach to business and its market dominance.

Would you believe it

Convicted murderer Michael Anderson is known as the "Craigslist killer" after he used the site to lure his victim.

The year ahead

Craigslist's expansion shows no sign of slowing. The presence of a powerful, angry, minority shareholder in eBay is the only factor behind an otherwise-serene outlook.

NORMAN, STEPHEN

Job: Senior VP of global marketing

Company: Renault

Age: 55

Killer power fact

Renault is the world's fourth largest car-maker, thanks to its alliance with Nissan. Norman is responsible for the marketing of the Renault, Dacia and Samsung brands, the alliance spending EUR800 million on media across the globe.

Path to power

Norman had various marketing roles at Rover Group in England and Europe from 1976 to 1994 when he moved to Volkswagen France, ultimately becoming its chairman. In 2004 Norman moved to Fiat France as the MD, then as the marketing director worldwide in Turin. Renault and the global MD role beckoned in 2007.

Deals and deeds

Norman recently preserved one of the most enduring client-agency relationships when he renewed Renault's contract with Publicis, in place since 1963. Renault launched the online Renault Shop in 2009 and was the first car brand to launch a web-based TV channel, www.renault.tv.

What he says

"I like each new campaign to have the 'wow' factor - an ad that makes you spill your soup down your lap when you see it on TV for the first time."

What people say

In 2009 one writer described Norman as an old school marketing pro who claimed never to have heard the phrase "search engine optimisation".

Would you believe it?

His hobby is tinkering under the bonnets of his own Chevrolet Corvette C5 and Aston Martin V8 Vantage (not forgetting some Renault models).

The year ahead

The race is on to produce desirable electric cars, so expect a marketing push on models such as the Zoe ZE and Twizy ZE as they launch over the next 18 months.

O

OSTROWSKI, HARTMUT

Job: Chairman and CEO

Company: Bertelsmann

Age: 52

Killer power fact

Bertelsmann is the world's largest European-owned media owner.

Path to power

Ostrowski joined the company in 1982 as an executive assistant and has worked his way steadily up the corporate ladder.

Deals and deeds

His biggest deal to date, soon after taking the top job in 2008, was the sale of the company's 50 per cent stake in Sony BMG to Sony Corporation of America.

What he says

"Just do it! Keep it simple!" - his business philosophy in a nutshell.

What people say

"He has a discreet, unglamorous profile" - an insider outlines Ostrowski's appeal to the board following his elevation to the top job.

Would you believe it?

He used to put a wooden fish on the table during meetings to symbolise his desire to keep things simple and conduct matters candidly.

The year ahead

Ostrowski recently promised to return the company to growth this year by focusing more on digital opportunities.

P

PANDEY, PIYUSH

Job: Co-executive chairman, national creative director and vice-chairman, India and South Asia

Company: Ogilvy & Mather

Age: 54

Killer power fact

He's comfortable with both English and Hindi. This command of the most important language for advertising in India as well as the language of business engender massive client trust.

Path to power

He made a switch, early in his career, from account management to creative when he saw those around him making a hash of Hindi translations.

Deals and deeds

His passion for cricket saw Ogilvy India win a disproportionate share of brands involved with cricket, the latest being the recent films for Adidas launched during the Indian Premier League's third season, despite Adidas being handled by TBWA\Worldwide - including India.

What he says

"We did not do any research for our ZooZoo ad campaign (for Vodafone). We used (cricketer Sachin) Tendulkar when he was 18 or 19 years old - and not the iconic brand he is today - for a commercial for Band Aid. The game has to be played not on conjecture, but belief."

What people say

"Pandey doesn't make great ads just to please others. Sure, he thrives on awards. But beneath it all, lies a no-nonsense head that has brought him to where he is.

And from a place where few great creative minds come - client service" - Nita Kulkarni, freelance writer.

Would you believe it?

His first job was as a tea-taster. He's played in the Ranji Trophy (India's equivalent to county cricket).

The year ahead

O&M is now the undisputed winner with the IPL, handling the brand and the comms for many of the largest advertisers in the IPL.

PEARLSTINE, NORMAN

Job: Chief content officer, Bloomberg LP; chairman, Bloomberg Businessweek

Age: 68

Killer power fact

In his role, a new post, Pearlstine is charged with growing Bloomberg's television, radio, magazine and online products and to make the most of the company's news operations.

Path to power

Before joining Bloomberg, Pearlstine was a senior advisor to The Carlyle Group's telecoms and media group in New York. Before joining the private equity company, he spent nearly four decades working as a reporter and editor.

Deals and deeds

Pearlstine is president and CEO of The American Academy in Berlin. He also serves on the boards of the Carnegie Corporation, the Committee to Protect Journalists, the Tribeca Film Institute, and the Watson Institute for International Relations.

What people say

In 2005, the American Society of Magazine Editors gave Perlstine its lifetime achievement award and inducted him into its Hall of Fame.

Would you believe it?

Pearlstine is the author of Off The Record: The Press, The Government, And The War Over Anonymous Sources, published in 2007.

The year ahead

Helping to make the marriage work - that is, the merger of Bloomberg's universe of market makers and Businessweek's readership of decision-makers to create a powerful audience and proposition for advertisers.

PEUGEOT, XAVIER

Job: Global MD

Company: PSA Peugeot Citroen

Age: 45

Killer power fact

PSA Peugeot Citroen ranks as Europe's number two car-maker and one of the top 30 overall biggest spenders on marketing globally.

Path to power

Educated at the Sorbonne, Xavier is a company lifer having worked at the PSA family business since 1994 in different roles. The company has been restructuring, with Xavier heading a new marketing and communication directorate.

Deals and deeds

Xavier's work is cut out for him in helping Peugeot achieve its triple ambition by the year 2015: to move up three places in the world car marques rankings to seventh place, become "a style benchmark" and "mobility services leader". To time with Peugeot's 200th birthday in 2011, the iconic Peugeot lion was redesigned in-house and a new tagline "motion and emotion" unveiled.

What he says

Asked about the Peugeot family's lack of profile compared with members of the other car-maker aristocracies, he replied: "We are not in the public domain."

What people say

"If the new Peugeot logo is a bit iffy, the SR1 concept car is immensely encouraging, capturing something of the elegance of past Peugeots" - The Independent.

Would you believe it?

The aristocratic Peugeot family still owns nearly 45 per cent of the 200-year-old company. Xavier Peugeot is the great-great-grand nephew of Armand Peugeot, the company founder.

The year ahead

Expansion in China, of course, and South America. Fourteen new models are promised in the next three years, including the launch of the Peugeot RCZ coupe this year and the diesel/hybrid model, the 3008 Hybrid, due next year.

PINDER, RICHARD

Job: Chief operating officer

Company: Publicis Worldwide

Age: 45

Killer power fact

Since taking the Publicis helm Pinder has helped the network make it into The Gunn Report's top ten creative agencies list for the first time.

Path to power

Pinder made a name for himself at Leo Burnett Asia-Pacific. He was then promoted to lead EMEA before joining Publicis in 2006. In typical Pinder style he soon manoeuvred himself into the position of sole leader of the network.

Deals and deeds

Pinder has steered an investment programme of acquisitions and start-ups that has boosted Publicis Modem to become a global digital network of 40 offices and more than 1,200 employees. Last year he unveiled Publicis Entertainment, a branded-content division, which has produced Renault TV.

What he says

"If the glass is always half-full, you never get to enjoy drinking all of it" and "every day brings another elephant to wash".

What people say

"Richard has more energy and more integrity than anyone I have ever worked with" - Nigel Jones, who just happens to be the group chairman of Publicis UK, says.

Would you believe it?

Pinder was once a freelance motoring journalist on the same publication in the mid-80s as Jeremy Clarkson.

The year ahead

With Maurice Levy, the chief of Publicis Groupe, set to retire in 2011, there will be a new jostling for power at the top. Don't bet against Pinder increasing his powerbase, but would the French ever permit a Brit to run the whole show?

PONCE, HERNAN

Job: Founder

Company: Ponce Buenos Aires

Age: 48

Killer power fact

The celebrated Argentinean charge on the world's creativity is underscored by Ponce, the eighth most-awarded agency on the globe in 2009.

Path to power

Ponce is one of a number of notable graduates of the David Ratto agency. He rose to become a copywriter to eventually become executive creative director at Young & Rubicam. He and Fernando Vega Olmos set up Vega Olmos Ponce in 1999. Now simply Ponce, following Vega Olmos' exit, the agency still has its eponymous founder very much at the helm of its creative department.

Deals and deeds

Ads for Unilever's Axe are among the very few global campaigns to originate in Latin America. Ponce has taken home 25 Cannes Lions, including the Titanium and Integrated Grand Prix in 2007 for "Axe 3" (in which women's attributes were mixed and matched, like the fragrances) - the second Grand Prix ever awarded to Argentina and the first for almost 40 years.

What he says

"The good news is there is no formula (for advertising)" - he told Infobrand.

What people say

"There are a lot of Argentinean advertising semi-gods," notes fellow Argentinean semi-god Juan Cabral, "but few of them exceeded the ten Lions barrier, like Hernan Ponce."

Would you believe it?

Aged 47, Ponce had his first child: a daughter, Lucia.

The year ahead

Will fatherhood make him less able to identify with the Axe/Lynx target market of chick-obsessed teenage males?

PRITCHARD, MARC

Job: Global marketing and brand building officer

Company: Procter & Gamble

Age: 50

Killer power fact

Cincinnati-based uber-Proctoid and marketing supremo of the world's biggest advertiser, with about $80 billion in sales.

Path to power

Pritchard is a marketing man the P&G bean counters must love. Before succeeding Jim Stengel in his current role in July 2008, he was best known for revamping the cosmetics brand CoverGirl with the campaign tagline: "Easy, breezy, beautiful." Less well known is that he is responsible for saving the company 70 per cent in supply chain costs: in 2000, he spearheaded a prototype model of its new, more-efficient supply network, while running its cosmetics and fragrances division.

Deals and deeds

Pritchard has overseen the creation of "brand franchise leaders" at P&G - managers with global oversight of all marketing functions. The company has continued the creative push begun under Stengel: it was the most-awarded advertiser in 2009 and, in March this year, was the first company to be inducted into the American Advertising Federation's Hall of Fame.

What he says

"I'd like to see marketers get experience at the local level. I think they can do that everywhere: getting the basic experience at store level, making sure then you get experience at design, getting experience with marketing."

What people say

Colleagues describe Pritchard as "exceptionally people-oriented and smart".

Would you believe it?

He loves skiing - aerial, skeleton and downhill. It's not clear if that's as a spectator or a partaker.

The year ahead

P&G's reliance on premium brands has left it more exposed to recessionary forces than might have been expected. Expect more budget trimming.

PROCTOR, DOMINIC

Job: Worldwide CEO

Company: Mindshare

Age: 53

Killer power fact

Recent events, including the retention of its giant Unilever contract in Europe and the US, have provided Proctor and his team with the impetus to continue a restructuring programme started in 2008.

Path to power

The former CEO of JWT London, Proctor was a driving force behind the launch of Mindshare as a new global network in 1997 and became its CEO six years later.

Deals and deeds

In 2008, Mindshare announced a repositioning as an "ideas-led" network only to be thrust headlong into facing the downturn. That Unilever retention was a big boost.

What he says

After restructuring Mindshare two years ago: "Brands are no longer driven by simple ideas or ideals but by a series of exchanges between the brand and the consumer. We are re-inventing our form, our thinking and our process, underpinning all that we do with digital expertise, to be our clients' lead business partner in meeting the challenges this new landscape creates for them."

What people say

One former colleague talks of Proctor's "steely determination masked by genuine charm".

Would you believe it?

His favourite TV show is The Sopranos and favourite film The Godfather and he has a physical resemblance to Tony Soprano. However, his fundamentally decent approach to conducting business couldn't be further away from that of screen gangsters.

The year ahead

Through branded-content initiatives, digital and its "invention" creative resource, Mindshare has ambitions to differentiate itself from other media networks.

PURIE, AROON

Job: Chairman and editor-in-chief

Publication: India Today

Age: 65

Killer power fact

The courage to fail is what has led Purie to where is today. Unknown to most, his first foray into publishing was a failure - a magazine called India Today created to target the non-resident Indian. It was later re-engineered for the Indian market, and became an unqualified success. Purie has launched a number of products that haven't fared well, but that has never stopped him from taking risks.

Path to power

His family business, printing, exposed him to publishing from an early age. His love for the written word saw him get into publishing.

Deals and deeds

Purie owns the Indian weekly news magazine India Today and the 24-hour Hindi news television channel Aaj Tak, two of India's most trusted news sources. But the piece de resistance is the annual India Today Conclave, an event attended by the most powerful people in India. This year's star speaker for the event held in March? James Cameron.

What he says

"In a country where there is so much bad news, quite often the messenger gets shot. But the media by and large has been a responsible messenger. It is a noble profession and one that goes beyond just business."

What people say

"I walked into Purie's office as a PhD student with a crazy idea many years ago. We wanted to do an opinion poll. Instead of shooting it down, he found the idea interesting and said, 'Just go ahead and do it'" - Prannoy Roy, the founder of New Delhi Television.

Would you believe it?

Purie graduated in economics from the London School of Economics.

The year ahead

Times are difficult for all print products in India, and Purie's dominance is in print.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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