Jon Iwata: Power List 2015

SVP, marketing and comms, IBM

2015 rank: 8
2014 rank: 5


By Gary Sheffer, VP, communications and public affairs, GE

I was talking recently with Jon Iwata about the future of our profession and he brought up the "art of the craft" – enduring skills such as writing and critical thinking that underpin our work.

I had never heard him talk about this. He became quite animated and was, as usual, spot on about it all. His point was that while almost everything we do is shifting rapidly – tools, investments, organizational design, job roles – some skills are non-negotiable.

Jon has long been the profession’s leader on breakthrough ideas such as what makes an enterprise authentic and worthy of trust, or how character can differentiate it. My one reservation on being asked to become chairman of the Arthur W. Page Society was that I had to succeed Jon: It was like replacing Jack Welch.

Thankfully, he is co-leading Page’s effort to define the future of the CCO. Jon’s commitment to this work – remember, his day job is CMO of IBM – has been remarkable. I’m sure the draft release this fall will again influence our profession for years to come.

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