19. John Saunders, FleishmanHillard

The president and CEO of the world's fourth-largest PR agency has had a roller-coaster year.

John Saunders’ 2018 Power List entry mentioned he wanted FleishmanHillard to be a top-two agency. It hasn’t happened in terms of revenue, but the Omnicom firm did take Large Agency of the Year at the PRWeek U.S. Awards in March.

Revenue-wise, Fleishman ranks fourth in the world, up 5% in 2018, improving on 2017’s 2% drop. It won significant accounts including the PR part of Omnicom’s pitch for the U.S. Army’s $4 billion recruitment account and, in January, Cisco’s consolidated PR work.

But the lot of a global PR agency CEO involves many ups and downs. In November, Fleishman caught the attention of Sen. Elizabeth Warren for its Saudi lobbying work. And in May, Saunders’ firm was in European regulatory crosshairs over its work for Bayer subsidiary Monsanto.

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