2015 rank: 3
2014 rank: 2
By Corey duBrowa, SVP, global comms and international public affairs, Starbucks
Richard and I have known one another for a decade, but I only really got to know him when we shared memories about the important roles our late fathers had played in our lives.
His father Dan helped launch an industry and the world’s largest PR agency, which Richard has served as CEO for 18 years (Starbucks’ global agency for the last 20 years).
Richard is not just the steward of the family business; he has stepped into a role he’s uniquely suited to play: industry leader and provocateur-in-residence.
His 6am blogs on topics from nonprofits to the business of public (not just media) relations possess an urgency, curiosity, and humility that perfectly convey the heart of the man.
On being inducted into the Arthur W. Page Society Hall of Fame last fall, Richard spoke about the shifting marketplace and the need for communicators to focus on building trust via long-term relationships. In a year not without its challenges, Richard is just as committed to transparency in the same way he has long counseled clients. I am quite certain Dan would be very proud.