['07 rank – #2]
The year 2008 saddled Burson-Marsteller CEO Mark Penn with the loss by his candidate, Sen. Hillary Clinton, in the Democratic presidential primaries. And while the campaign's missteps and in-fighting did somewhat tarnish Penn's image as a political savant, he still runs an incredibly influential polling shop Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates, and sits atop one of the largest PR firms in the world. His 2008 book Microtrends was on The New York Times Best Seller List, and was blurbed by Bill Gates and President Bill Clinton. Not having Clinton on the ballot this November will finally give Penn the chance to focus completely on leading Burson through times of industry change.