2014 rank: 20
By Julie Hamp, CCO, Toyota North America
Tony is the Yoda of PR, a true leader with wisdom that comes from both knowledge and experience. He knows when to lead, when to let others lead, and how to look at a situation from another perspective.
I worked with Tony at GM from 2000 to 2007 and the first thing you notice is he never shies away from giving his opinion – and he is right very often. He has an uncanny ability to influence and challenge others around him, without offending anyone, and does so with a sense of ease and confidence.
He often leaves people asking "why didn’t I think of that?" Tony has one of the quickest minds in the room, frequently injecting a voice of reason into any discussion.
He also has an incredible sense of humor that is endearing and brings levityto situations when desperately needed. This is an essential part of Tony’s DNA that serves as a great motivator to the team around him.
He is one of the most honest and transparent people you will ever meet. Tony will tell you the truth without varnishing any painful or negative aspects, yet leave you at ease knowing you have an opportunity to improve and be comfortable taking risks and making mistakes. At the same time he is incredibly humble and self effacing, which puts people around him at ease.
He is the mature voice of reason who does it all while doling out anecdotes, advice, and encouragement you would swear were straight from Yoda. For Tony, there is no "try," only "do."