Monday, February 4, 2013


Twenty-one internationally-minded marketing leaders have been named Internationalists of the Year by The Internationalist. These individuals represent the people behind today's outstanding marketing thinking and brand communications.

Without their extraordinary efforts, inspiration and energy amid today's "always on" world with increased emphasis on accountability and responsibility, many marketing programs simply would not have gotten off the ground. These Internationalists represent a variety of industries, locations and number of years in the profession, but all take the role of brand champion to heart.  Many are reinventing the role of marketing in today’s society.

This year represents the largest number of woman as Internationalists, as well as more retailers given the extraordinary developments in shopper marketing and new concepts in demonstrating quality and luxury.  Interestingly, the list shows a balance of consumer-driven and business-driven brands.  Bank brands are redefining themselves in a post-crisis world, while hotel brands are looking at new ways of keeping today’s travelers loyal.  All recognize the complexity of our digital age, embrace the power of social media and are seeking ways to establish greater meaning and value for the constituents.

The Internationalists of the Year include: 

  • Janice Alfini- SVP Global Brand & Marketing at Diners Club International (USA- Chicago)

  • Linus Almqvist- Head of Brand Communications and Partnerships at Vattenfall AB (Sweden)

  • Nayantara Bali- Vice-President Global Skin Category/ Olay Brand Franchise leader at Procter & Gamble (Singapore)  

  • Bonin Bough-Vice President of Global Media and Consumer Engagement at Mondel─ôz International (USA-NY)

  • Christa Carone, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at Xerox (USA- NY)

  • Frederique Covington Corbett- Central Marketing Organization Lead, Asia Pacific at Microsoft  (Singapore)  

  • Carmen D’Ascendis- Director of Global Marketing for Jack Daniels at Brown Forman (USA-Louisville)

  • Nancy Deck- Vice President, Multi-Brand & Loyalty at Hilton (USA-DC)

  • Gerardo Garcia- Group Director, Global Design at The Coca-Cola Company (USA- Atlanta)

  • Jason Hill- Director of Advertising, Growth Markets at GE (USA-NY)  

  • Mark Ingall, Managing Director/Head of Global Strategic Media at CitiGroup (USA- NY)

  • Maria Jobin, Head of Branding & Advertising at ABB (Switzerland)  

  • John Kennedy- Vice President of Corporate Marketing at the IBM Corporation (USA-NY)  

  • Sarah Manley, Chief Marketing Officer at Burberry (UK)

  • Marc Mathieu- SVP Marketing at Unilever (UK)

  • Diego Scotti- Chief Marketing Officer at J. Crew  (USA-NY)

  • Shiv Singh- Global Head of Digital at PepsiCo Beverage (USA-NY)  

  • Kensuke Suwa- CMO/ US & Europe at Uniqlo (UK)  

  • Susan Thronson-SVP Global Marketing at Marriott International, Inc. (USA-DC)

  • Sarah Wyse- Head of Marketing Strategy at Coutts (UK)

  • Maria Ziv- Marketing Director at Visit Sweden (Sweden)


Kensuke Suwa

Ensuke SuwaChief Marketing Officer- US & Europe

Japanese clothing retailer Uniqlo, known for unique, high-quality, well-made clothing at reasonable prices, has made headlines for its dramatic global expansion.  CMO Kensuke Suwa would argue, though, that the hallmarks of the brand are the customer benefits, as well as the shopping experience—whether in store or online.   Uniqlo recently launched its e-commerce site to support its expansion, and Suwa-san admits that replicating the feel of the store and the hands-on nature of shopping was a challenge. (Although the “Have Some Fun” Apps certainly echo the brand’s personality.)

 He is also an advocate of delivering the Uniqlo message appropriately to the local market, rather than emphasizing the company’s Japanese roots.  Its 2012 New York effort included the “People” campaign, highlighting distinguished New Yorkers in both brand advertising and as an online destination.  Suwa-san has repeatedly said, "We want to be a neighbor, a New Yorker."  Other elements of the New York launch emphasized Uniqlo’s philosophy “Made for All,” then followed with variations like “Greener for All” and “Warmer for All.”  (Uniqlo states that it is inclusive of all ages, rather than targeting sought-out fashion demographics and younger age groups.) The retailer also introduced pop-up stores and “Uniqlo Cubes,” featuring a key product category at trendy summer events and festivals. 

 Kensuke Suwa joined the company in 2001 and has led global marketing since 2007. Uniqlo, founded in 1984, now operates over one-thousand stores in a dozen countries with flagship operations in Japan, China, France, the UK and the US.  Fast Retailing, Uniqlo's parent company, is targeting nearly $60 billion in sales by 2020, which means opening 20-30 stores per year.  So we expect to keep up with Suwa-san for many years to come.

John Kennedy

John-kennedy-ibmVice President, Corporate Marketing
IBM Corporation

 There’s no question that John Kennedy is an advocate for the role of the Chief Marketing Officer within the corporation.  As Vice President of Corporate Marketing for IBM, he also regularly discusses how Big Data is not only transforming the influence of the CMO, but how it is also affecting the future of Marketing. 

 “Data,” he says, “is an asset to the CMO in providing new capabilities, but it is also elevating the stature of marketing within the C-Suite.  Ultimately, Big Data will give marketers the ability to move from a transactional focus to a customer-centric conversation around the benefits of products and services.  And data is establishing an essential new dialogue between the CMO and the CIO.”

 According to John Kennedy, “We’re experiencing a tsunami of data.  Not only is there a tremendous amount of structured data—something that we can manage, but also volumes of unstructured data in the form of videos, tweets and vague information.  This is often the domain of marketing as we sift through this unstructured information for insights.”

 John’s diverse career with IBM has spanned 17 years, after an initial start as an Assistant Brand Manager at Procter & Gamble.  His roles have included Brand Management, Integrated Marketing Communications, Marketing & Sales, and they have spanned geographies ranging from the Americas to Asia-Pacific.  He was also based in Tokyo as Vice President of Marketing & Channels for IBM Japan.

 In fact, that experience, combined with IBM’s own C-Suite research, has resulted in John Kennedy’s regular discussions of today’s three new marketing imperatives:

1.       Understanding each customer as an individual.

2.       Creating a system of engagement that maximizes the value created at every touch point.

3.       Designing your culture and brand so they are authentically one.

 The basic truths of marketing are changing, but John Kennedy will be leading the charge to insure that the business of marketing only grows in its capabilities and significance.

Mark Ingall

Mark IngallManaging Director/Head of Global Strategic Media

With over 20 years of marketing experience, Mark Ingall has a keen understanding of the role of a brand within an organization. Citi was turning 200 years old in 2012. Through research, Citi found that unlike other categories where a brand’s reputation is only as good as its latest performance, the past matters in banking. Mark knew that if he could communicate Citi’s anniversary by focusing on the forward thinking of its 200 years of accomplishments, he could rebuild trust and strengthen brand perceptions. Mark created a new idea that broke the mold of all previous campaigns: Citi would showcase its 200 Years of heritage and innovation by bringing its “History Forward.”

In his current role as Citigroup Managing Director, Head of Global Strategic Media, Mark is a steward of the Citi brand on an international scale. He continuously works to strengthen Citi’s brand image and health metrics, which in turn work to promote the bank and its products.  Following the 2008 financial meltdown, Citi, like most banks, had been deeply hurt both as an institution and a brand.  Mark understood that regaining trust on a global scale was not about generating transactions or new customers— it was about making positive inroads into the hearts and minds of the population at large. The idea that the bank has been involved in great feats of innovation—from championing the Panama Canal to embracing the modern ATM— allowed customers to put cynicism aside and reconsider how they felt about Citi.  A balance of heritage and innovation was critical to turning the brand around.


Jason Hill

JMH headshotDirector of Advertising, Growth Markets

GE’s “growth markets” are countries outside the U.S. where GE is still emerging as a brand fully understood by the business executives and government officials who count as its customers. In the past few years, GE has launched customized, original, and highly creative marketing campaigns in nine growth markets—places where the brand has never before been supported through advertising. The person behind this effort, ensuring that the GE story is told in compelling ways around the world, is Jason Hill.

Jason manages GE’s strategic process, campaign development, and channel planning for Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Germany, India, Indonesia, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia. He circles the globe to mine the best messages from around the company, translating them into sharp briefs that consider local cultural nuances, and partnering with top agencies to create 360-degree campaigns. With his commitment to marrying global strategy with locally relevant creative work, Jason is breaking the mold both for GE as a company with advertising that is new, fresh, and unexpected, rather than relying on global campaigns adapted to local languages. Jason Hill also brings a strong creative vision and spirit of innovation to a company known for its engineering heritage and love of rigorous process.

Marc Mathieu

MakMathieuSenior Vice President, Marketing

Marc Mathieu often quotes Albert Einstein by reminding us that, "We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them." Not only is this an appropriate quotation for someone who is often credited with reinventing concepts of marketing for our times, but it demonstrates how Mr. Mathieu cares deeply about new ideas and new values.

 As Senior Vice President of Marketing at Unilever, the Anglo-Dutch giant with claim to over 400 brands and the world's second-biggest advertising spender, he is responsible for the development of the company’s new global marketing strategy– “Crafting Brands for Life.”  This is the industry's most comprehensive program for driving consumer-led growth that is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. It also supports the company’s growth ambition of doubling the size of its business while simultaneously reducing its environmental impact.  Unilever believes that its brands “play a major part in helping us achieve our sustainable living aims of helping more than a billion people improve their health and well-being; halving the environmental footprint of our products and sourcing 100% of our agricultural raw materials sustainably.”

 "Crafting Brands for Life" embeds sustainable living through a new marketing strategy. At the heart of this dramatic, large-scale project are two pivotal elements:


  1. It is not a "CSR" (Corporate Social Responsibility) program. In fact, Unilever dismantled their CSR department to demonstrate that "crafting brands for life" is not an "add on," but an essential part of the Unilever ethos.

  2. The marketing department needs to be the lead for sustainability. This may mean than an organization needs to be realigned, but it certainly requires an entirely new strategy to reinvent marketing that changes how people engage with brands.

 Which brings us back to why Marc Mathieu quotes Einstein…  In addition to making sustainable living commonplace, he is regularly talks about two other shifts dramatically affecting marketing. The first involves emerging and fast growth markets and the challenge of reaching new consumers with different needs, while the second is the impact of social media.

 Prior to joining Unilever, Marc Mathieu spent 17 years of his career in marketing roles at Coca-Cola, including SVP Global Brand Marketing, in addition to earlier positions in Southeast Asia and Division President for France & Benelux. Marc is also a co-founder of the strategic branding consultancy, BeDo, and an advisor to the social commerce start up, We&Co.  Marc started his career as a marketing director at Danone.

Christa Carone

Christa-carone-cmo-xeroxCorporate Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer

Christa Carone’s Twitter identification describes her as a “Curious marketer & communicator; on the hunt for cut-through creative, simple yet relevant messages…”  According to her peers, this is only the tip of the iceberg.

 Her Internationalist of the Year nominations underscore how Xerox’s “Ready for Real Business” campaign is not simply about advertising.  (“Real Business” cleverly demonstrates how Xerox helps companies handle their back-end operations so they can focus on their core business or what they do best.)  This landmark Xerox initiative is certainly a global, integrated platform, but it is also a rallying cry for the company that comes to life across all marketing and communications initiatives.  Christa Carone’s drive for consistency of message and the need for flexible integration have been paramount in creating the program’s success, as well as the redefinition of the Xerox brand, both internally and externally.

 The 2-year-old “Ready for Real Business” campaign is now evolving to highlight more services, while it continues to present its message through a variety of channels ranging from event sponsorships to social media.  In fact, its two-minute Web video called “A World Made Simpler by Xerox” recently won Gold in The Internationalist Awards for Innovative Marketing Solutions.  The video has received more than 650,000 views.

 Ms. Carone is responsible for global marketing strategy and initiatives that include advertising, experiential marketing, public relations, internal communications, integrated campaigns, interactive and social marketing, and the Xerox Foundation. She is also the steward of the company's brand, leading global activities that serve to protect the value of the Xerox name and multibillion-dollar brand.

 She joined Xerox in 1996 as Communications Manager for the company's manufacturing and supply chain division. Her various communications, public relations and media relations roles over the years ultimately led to her CMO title in 2008.  She  was appointed a Vice President of the corporation in May 2010.