NEW YORK — The Influence 100, the Holmes Report’s annual report on the world’s leading chief marketing and communications officers, has again showcased the in-house communicators who have moved into broader management roles within their organisations.

This year’s eight Crossover Stars – the ‘Hall of Fame’ for communicators whose career trajectory has extended beyond communications, marketing and sales into core business functions – have titles such as chief strategy officer, managing director, CEO, regional head, president and vice-chair.

Profiles of the 2019 Crossover Stars include Matthew Gain, SVP and head of JAPAC and India for Audible, who – unusually – segued from PR agency to corporate management without an in-house comms role in the middle when he moved from Edelman Australia to Amazon’s audiobook company in 2016.

Wrenelle Stander, previously one of the Influence 100, has had an equally interesting career path. She was SVP of public affairs at Sasol Gas until 2018, having initially served as its managing director for four years, and this month returned to corporate leadership as joint CEO of South African aviation and travel company Comair. 

Merck KGaA’s Isabel de Paoli was also previously on the Influence 100 list, having served as head of group communications at the German chemical, pharmaceutical and life sciences company until it created the role of chief strategy officer for her in 2016.

At Singapore-owned investment firm Temasek, Steve Forshaw holds dual communications and management roles. He had senior PR and PA positions at Singapore Airlines and Microsoft before becoming MD of public affairs at Temasek in 2011. In 2013, Forshaw added operational oversight for Australia and New Zealand to his remit, making him one of the few communications leaders to also take on business leadership duties.

Pete Marino is another holder of both comms and management roles, at MillerCoors. The founder of Dog Communications moved in-house after selling the agency to Minneapolis-based ad firm Olson, and is now not only chief communications and public affairs officer, but also president of the brewer’s craft and import division, Tenth and Blake.

The same is true of Simon Sproule, CMO of luxury car manufacturer Aston Martin Lagonda and former Tesla VP marketing and comms, who was last year also appointed as president of Aston Martin Partnerships, a new division set up to manage non-automotive revenue from brand extensions and sponsorship across the company’s real estate, marine and aviation ventures.

At Banco Santander, long-serving head of corporate communications Juan Manuel Cendoya was elevated to vice chairman of the board of directors for Santander Spain in 2016, an unusual promotion for a PR executive.

Finally, former head of Burson-Marsteller Australia, Simon Pearce, has made the move to senior political counsel, as special advisor to the chairman of Abu Dhabi’s Executive Affairs Authority, and is now considered one of the UAE’s most influential officials.

The full Influence 100 report can be found here.