Skip to main content

Behind every successful brand—and its CEO—stands the person who keeps the organization running smoothly and efficiently.

That’s why we dedicate our Adweek 50 award every year to those working behind the scenes to drive growth in big ways at their respective companies, bringing recognition to those who may be overlooked today but will be running the show tomorrow.
This year, we went beyond the CMOs, CEOs, chairmen and founders of the industry to showcase a host of C-suite and vp-level positions in creative divisions such as culture and capabilities, data privacy, supply and demand, and the electric vehicle ecosystem. In another year of profound change across marketing, media and tech, marketers have turned their creative instincts toward new roles, responsibilities and organization structures, with almost no two honorees sharing a title—and in a major shift from previous lineups, no repeat winners from the prior year.

Our sprawling list includes Richard Sim, Roblox’s senior director of product and monetization, who has pushed new ad formats and safety measures on one of the biggest platforms of the internet’s next frontier; Andy Pearson, vp of creative at Liquid Death, a brand whose “improbable” and seemingly overnight success comes from its slew of celebrity partnerships and out-there creative; Kai Deveraux Lawson, svp of diversity, equity and inclusion at Dentsu Creative, who is making a tangible impact on representation within agencies and creative content, and has been described by company leadership as someone they’d trust with their lives; and Bharat Krish, president of digital and chief technology officer at Time, whose startup mentality guided the nearly 100-year-old publisher’s approach to a new digital infrastructure and NFT offerings.

FY 2021 billings: $15 billion

Pagliuca is an ad-tech veteran, beginning her career at the first advertising exchange, Right Media. Named chief activation officer for OMG North America in 2020, she oversees OMG’s digital activation practices, along with product development and evolution, and platform adoption across all media channels. Part of her role is building products and capabilities for clients based on where consumers are spending their time. Several of the businesses Pagliuca helped incubate and launch in the U.S. include OMG’s influencer marketing practice Creo, its commerce practice Transact and its Google reselling business Trkkn. Those practices have boosted clients’ business results, and OMG recently earned the highest scores in retail and commerce in Forrester’s 2022 analysis of global media management groups. “I have always been drawn to the impact of technology on consumer and business behavior. Within my role at OMG, I am at the forefront of how tech can improve our clients’ business results,” Pagliuca said.