Torod Neptune | Influence 100

Torod Neptune 

Corporate Vice President, Corporate Communications 
Verizon Communications

Torod Neptune has been one of the industry’s most effective change agents — from championing the business impact of communications to restructuring for the modern era of communications. For instance at Verizon, Neptune redesigned the traditional hierarchical composition of the communications team in to a modernized model that borrows from ‘Agile’ and ‘Design Thinking’ and organizes people around new digital skills instead of traditional functional competencies. He has also created a blueprint for driving brand influence by taking a creative, data informed, and insights heavy approach to building Verizon’s global brand reputation by focusing on ‘impact at scale.’ His Verizon team is leading efforts to integrate data, analytics and technology in to the practice of communications that delivers creativity, discipline and business outcomes. 

Neptune began his career as a reporter with The State, and prior to Verizon was senior vice president and global public affairs practice leader for WE Communications and chief communications strategist for the U.S. Congress, responsible for establishing the first post-Sept. 11 and anthrax crisis communications function for the U.S. House of Representatives. Before Capitol Hill, Neptune was senior vice president, Corporate Marketing and Communications with Bank of America Corp.
Please share a notable career highlight. 
Creating the first post-Sept. 11 and anthrax crisis communications function for the U.S. Congress / House of Representatives was a career-defining moment for me.

What is the most rewarding/challenging aspect about a career in communications/marketing?
Aligning people and an organization to an era of continuous change, while simultaneously hitting business targets. 

The daily challenge of aligning an organization and its people around a critically important set of new integrated marketing and communications skills, while staying laser focused on driving quantifiable business outcomes over activity (e.g. noise).

What skills/experience will the CCO of the future need that may not be required today?
Greater risk-appetite to approach predictive and AI influenced opportunities. There is also an opportunity competency for the modern CCO centered around live or real-time marketing as a means to achieving real consumer brand engagement, locally and globally.

What skill/experience is required of today's CCO that might not be as relevant in the future?
I don't see top-tier media relationships as core competency for much longer. If it still is seen as a core, required skill anywhere today.

Who or what inspires you to be your best? 
My children continue to be both the most grounding and most inspirational people in my life.

What is on your must-read/view/listen to list? 
Each year I re-read Mandela's Way: Lessons on Life, Love, and Courage. It challenges, encourages, and helps reframe my vision for the year, both professionally and personally.

Most interesting place you've traveled to?
A 15-day trip with the family to South Africa (Johannesburg, Capetown) and Southeast Africa (Mozambique)