2014 rank: 16
By Torod Neptune, VP, corporate communications, Verizon Wireless
Corey is a passionate advocate for the role of integrated communications in driving organizational change and a model of the quintessential adviser and counselor to the CEO. He is highly regarded by his peers and teammates alike for shepherding one of the world’s largest and most respected brands toward even greater influence and respect around the globe since joining Starbucks in 2010.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, often credited with devising the grandest of visions in first founding, then returning to, and revitalizing Starbucks, said: "The currency of leadership is truth and transparency." I worked with Corey at Waggener Edstrom and can confirm he is a great model of this truism: transparency has been demonstrated in his leadership tenure within agency and corporate environments, from Ketchum to Nike to WE, and now Starbucks.
He is a champion of the power of storytelling as a strategic comms weapon, having played quarterback for Starbucks’ efforts to ensure it carves out a place among the world’s great brands by leading with its values and focusing tirelessly on using its scale for good. More recently, he has shepherded Starbucks through the debate around whether companies, and their CEOs, should espouse a values-laden rationale for their existence, which Starbucks has continued to do to great brand reputation success.
Corey revels in the constantly evolving 24/7 news environment and its impact on the role of strategic communications, making each day energizing and affording PR professionals the opportunity to have a more meaningful impact by engaging the "public just as much as, if not more than, the media" aspects of our jobs.