John Saunders, president and CEO, FleishmanHillard: Power List 2017

2017 rank: 15

John Saunders brings his plucky Irish flair to every challenge that comes his way. His latest as President and CEO of FleishmanHillard has proved no different.

I met John 28 years ago. FleishmanHillard had purchased John’s successful consultancy, and I was supporting Fleishman’s Brussels office. We hit it off instantly and have stayed friends ever since. Over the subsequent years, I eagerly watched John rise through the ranks, last year reaching the pinnacle as CEO.

He has taken this on with his trademark gusto. His efforts are buffeted by an amazing ability to inspire and motivate his people. John has a way with words that is relentlessly authentic and resonates with people at their core. On top of that, he is incredibly honest and fair, boasts a killer sense of humor, global sensibility, and that storytelling gene that tends to accompany an Irish accent.

And he’s a brilliant client counselor — inspiring trust and confidence, bringing his sharp instinct to help clients navigate the ever-changing landscape and create real impact.

With all this going for him, I have no doubt John’s impact at FleishmanHillard will be significant. John would probably have a witty, self-deprecating joke to make upon hearing that. But I know it’s true.

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