1. John Shield – Director of comms, BBC
One of the UK’s most revered institutions has been facing relentless attacks from politicians, the current government and sections of the public over licence fees. Shield’s role in defending the BBC is critical as it searches for a new director-general.
2. Tim Chatwin – VP communications and public affairs, EMEA, Google
Digital media regulation appears imminent and David Cameron’s former strategic adviser will have an important role in promoting the tech giant’s interests.
3. Chris Norton – Vice-president of communications, EMEA, Facebook
Another pro with an important role, providing a strong narrative for Facebook in how digital media regulation plays out.
4. Amanda Andrews – Director of corporate communications, Amazon
The online giant wields immense power over the retail sector. As high-street brands continue to collapse, Andrews must defend against questions about Amazon’s tax affairs and working conditions.
5. Adam Howorth – Director, public relations, EMEA, Apple
Howorth has one of the biggest comms jobs in the UK as Apple increasingly looks to move into content and streaming.
6. Ed Petter – Group corporate affairs director, BT
BT is letting sports fans buy monthly passes as it chases the ‘Netflix generation’. Petter will need to guide the company through a period of disruption in the communications and media sectors.
7. Paul Moore – Group corporate affairs and comms director, ITV
Moore leads comms at the UK’s largest commercial TV broadcaster. In the past year, ITV partnered the BBC in the SVOD space with BritBox.
8. Joanna Manning-Cooper – Group director of corporate affairs, Sky
Less than a year into the role, the highly regarded Manning-Cooper heads comms at Sky at an interesting juncture. Sky is doubling its investment in production and has invested in a film studio as it takes up its fight with Netflix and Amazon.
9. Jonathan Bennett – Communications director, UK and Ireland, Netflix
The former VP of communications at Discovery has now been in the role for more than a year. Netflix is doubling its UK spend on production as new competitors flood the market.
10. James Tutt – Head of communications, Microsoft UK
Tutt has replaced Tom Pilla as head of comms at one of the world’s most valuable companies, which broke through the $1tn valuation mark last year.
11. Amy Holland – Director of communications, media and DTC (Disney+), Disney
A new entrant, Holland joined this month from Sky, where she was head of corporate reputation and campaigns. The launch of Disney+ promises to reshape the streaming war as we know it.
12. Nicola Green – Director of corporate affairs, O2/Telefónica
Green is a stalwart of telecoms PR, with 16 years at O2/Telefónica UK.
13. Daisy Dunlop – Director of communications, News UK
Dunlop is arguably the most influential communications chief in UK newspapers and has been at News UK for nearly 20 years.
14. Emma Reynolds – External communications & regulatory affairs director, Vodafone
Another heavy-hitter, Reynolds had a stellar career at senior comms roles for brewer AB InBev and Tesco.
15. Edward Brewster – Communications director, Huawei
Huawei is in the grip of a PR battle with Western governments, including the UK, as it looks to secure lucrative 5G infrastructure contracts.
16. Brendan O’Grady – Group director of comms, Guardian Media Group
O’Grady leads comms for the most widely read left-leaning news brand in the world. He has previously held senior comms roles at the Financial Times and worked in 10 Downing Street under former Prime Minister Tony Blair.
17. Mat Sears – Director, PR & corporate communications, BT/EE
A highly regarded and long-serving telecoms PR operator, Sears’ influence on the telecoms giant continues to grow apace.
18. Cindy Yau – Head of communications, DMG Media
Yau is head of comms for the Daily Mail and Metro mastheads, which have two of the widest circulations in the UK.
19. Finola McDonnell – Chief communications and marketing officer, Financial Times
McDonnell leads comms for the most revered business newspaper in the UK, and arguably the world, which has successfully transitioned to a subscription-based business model.
20. Justin Bates – Director of communications, EMEA and LATAM, LinkedIn
Bates is one of the top global comms leaders for the business networking site.
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