Torod Neptune | Influence 100
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Torod Neptune 

Worldwide Group VP & CCO 
Lenovo 
US

 

 

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 to calling on agencies to increase diversity in order to secure Lenovo’s business.

The latter came as part of an agency review Neptune initiated shortly after joining the technology company in March of 2018, after spending almost seven years with Verizon, where he oversaw communications for each of the company’s major business units, rising to the role of corporate VP of corporate communications.

His priority as a CCO, he says, is handling “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.”

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.

Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR's direct impact on business performance?
BP after the Horizon explosion.

What are the comms industry's biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?
Ongoing relevance in driving business outcomes, over an over-weight on earned and traditional and lack of investment and leadership in data/analytics/insights to tie discipline to real business metrics/KPIs the C-suite values. Lack of diversity action/momentum.

What have you most admired about this industry in 2020?
Covid-19 has reinforced the power/importance of employee engagement and culture, which has reinforced traditional function value, which helps while we go up the stack more.

What has most disappointed you about this industry in 2020?
Lack of agency transformation to match client/brand demands and a still too traditional comms/PR weighted workforce.

How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness in lockdown?
Keeping office hours; walking away and shutting down at the “end of the office day”.

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through this year or provided inspiration?
Untangle Podcast.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
Owning my own community coffee shop.

Sum up 2020 in one word.
Unbelievable.