These Ad and Media Bigwigs Know Their Business

Sorrell, Goodby, Pittman and more on surfing the digital disruption

One thing has been a constant across the last three-and-a-half decades since Adweek was born: change, and the business, cultural and technological disruptions that have rocked and that continue to rock our industry. To help mark our anniversary, we feature a roster of boldface names—including WPP chief Martin Sorrell, MTV creator Bob Pittman, Cosmopolitan magazine editor Joanna Coles and Fox TV boss Kevin Reilly—who reflect on the past and consider a future that's coming at us all at relentless speed. 

Bob Jeffrey

Worldwide Chairman and CEO, JWT

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With 15 years at the agency, Jeffrey now oversees more than 200 offices and 10,000 employees in more than 90 countries, working with such top brands as Ford, Nokia, HSBC and Nestlé. Early in his career, he was an account executive at DDB and Chiat\Day. In 1987, he co-founded his own shop, Goldsmith/Jeffrey, which was acquired by Lowe & Partners in 1996. Jeffrey was evp, managing director at Lowe before joining JWT as president of the New York office.


Nikesh Arora

SVP, chief business officer, Google

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Arora oversees all revenue and customer operations as well as marketing and partnerships at Google. Before joining the company in 2004, he was CMO of T-Mobile Europe and earlier was with Deutsche Telekom, Putnam Investments and Fidelity Investments.


Bob Pittman

Chairman and CEO, Clear Channel

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Among the businesses Pittman oversees are Clear Channel Media and Entertainment, which boasts a greater reach than any radio or TV outlet in the U.S. (more than 243 million listeners per month), and Clear Channel Outdoor (more than 750,000 displays in more than 40 countries). Aside from having led the team that created MTV, he has served as chief executive of companies including AOL Networks and Time Warner Enterprises.


Susan Credle

Chief creative officer, Leo Burnett North America

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At Publicis’ Leo Burnett (where she was brought in as CCO in 2009) and earlier at Omnicom’s BBDO (where she started as a secretary in 1985 after graduating from the University of North Carolina), Credle has become a creative force in the business. Her body of work represents a who’s who of iconic brands and campaigns—among them, M&M’s (and its animated pitch-candies), McDonald’s, Pepsi, FedEx, Visa and Allstate (for which she shepherded the “Mayhem” campaign).

Ed Erhardt

President, global customer marketing and sales, ESPN

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At the world’s leading sports media brand, Erhardt leads a team that provides advertisers access to such brands as ESPN’s domestic and international TV networks, and ESPN The Magazine. He broke new ground by creating the first unified sales organization representing Walt Disney Co.’s sports assets across all platforms. Earlier in his career, he was vp and group publisher of Advertising Age, where he oversaw the launches of Ad Age International and Creativity.


Kevin Reilly

Entertainment Chairman, Fox Broadcasting co.

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With a solid roster of TV series to his credit—among them, The Sopranos, The Office, 30 Rock and Friday

Night Lights—Reilly now heads up all prime-time development, programming, scheduling, marketing, research, digital and business affairs at the network known for hits such as New Girl, The Following and Sleepy Hollow. Previously, he was entertainment president at the NBC and FX networks, and president of Brad Grey Television.

Jeff Goodby

Co-founder, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners

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The co-founder and co-chairman of the formidable San Francisco shop that Adweek in 2009 dubbed “Agency of the Decade,” Goodby is one of the industry’s living legends, responsible for such award-winning campaigns as the National Basketball Association’s “I Love This Game” and the California Milk Processor Board’s “Got Milk?”—some of which have even found their way into the collection at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Today, its clients also include the likes of Google, Adobe, Corona and Sonic.


Joanna Coles

Editor in chief, Cosmopolitan

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Since being named to Cosmo’s top spot in September 2012, Coles has revitalized the magazine that made its name with sex tips for the single young woman, partnering with Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg on the supplement Cosmo Careers and enlisting guest columns by ranking female executives like DreamWorks CEO Stacey Snider. Before moving up to Cosmo, the U.K. native served as editor in chief of its Hearst sister title Marie Claire and earlier was the New York bureau chief of The Guardian.