Top 25 Social Business Leaders 2014 Economist IBM

The World’s Top 25 Social Business Leaders 2014 [The Economist]

In partnership with IBM, the Economist Intelligence Unit released their 2014 selection of the top 25 social business leaders globally.

Top 25 Social Business Leaders 2014 Economist IBMI thought I’d share this list of top social business influencers which includes some of the highest profile individuals and organisations in the social media and the social business spaces.

The Economist Intelligence Unit adopted a definition of social business similar to Andrew Grill‘s: “a social business is an organisation whose culture and systems encourage networks of people to create business value”.


There is no such thing as a perfect methodology or way to identify the very best persons, companies or social media accounts unanimously.  And in this case, many would argue (even one of the 25 laureates) that the list is missing a number of top social business champions from other industries or other parts of the world, unarguably every person on the EIU list is worthy of the distinction.

You will find more information on the criteria and the advisory board -which includes Brian Solis– on their microsite.  Please note there is also a dedicated twitter hashtag #socbiz25.

They identified 5 key leadership qualities: ‘visionaries’, ‘strategic thinkers’, ‘culture shapers’, ‘storyteller’ and ‘miscellaneous’ ‘adaptive, open, entrepreneurial and fully social’.


Top 25 Social Business Leaders

In addition to the usual suspects like Ford’s Scott Monty or Xiaomi’s Lin Bin, it’s great to find no less than four financial institutions represented on the list.  Congratulations to Wendy, Jon, Nathan and John to demonstrate that even leaders at banks and insurance companies can successfully design and implement a digital transformation programme.

Please find below the full list of top 25 social business leaders globally (by alphabetical order):

  1. WENDY ARNOTT – Vice-president of social media and digital marketing at TD Bank Group
    THE SOCIAL BANK: Embracing a new world of open conversation
  2. LIN BIN – Co-Founder at Xiaomi
    OPENING CHINA: Technology for the people, by the people
  3. JON BIDWELL – Chief innovation officer, Chubb Group of Insurance Cos, unit of Chubb Corp
    SOCIAL INNOVATION: An internal network for generating new business ideas
  4. B. BONIN BOUGH – Vice-president of global media and consumer engagement, Mondelez International
    FUTURE FACING: Embracing the ethos of a start-up
  5. PETER BLACKSHAW – Global head of digital and social media at Nestlé
    INSIDE OUT: When a social vision is healing
  6. NATHAN BRICKLIN – Head of collaboration and social strategy for wholesale services at Wells Fargo
    DIVIDE AND CONQUER: Remaking a large institution with small, multidisciplinary teams
  7. BRIAN FANZO – Former digital technology evangelist, IO Data Centers
    ADAPT: Embracing change, seizing opportunities
  8. MARTYN ETHERINGTON – Chief marketing officer at Mitel
    RESTRUCTURE: Making customers the focal point of an organisation
  9. GILBERTO GARCIA – Director of innovation at Cemex
    SHIFT WORK: Making communication simple within a global enterprise
  10. TONY HSIEH – Founder and chief executive at
    BUILD, GROW: Failing all the way to success
  11. RICKY HUDI – Chief engineer for electrics/electronics development at Audi AG
    DRIVING VISION: Designing digitised cars that let us be more human
  12. CHRIS LAPING – Senior vice-president for business transformation at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers
    COMMUN(ICATE): Giving employees a sense of purpose and ownership
  13. MARCO MAGNAGHI – Former business innovation manager at Amadori
    BREAKING BREAD: New recipes for reaching customers
  14. SHERRI MAXSON – Head of social business at W. W. Grainger
    HUB AND SPOKE: How a business-to-business company got social
  15. BRITTA MEYER – Chief marketing officer at WageWorks
    FEARLESS: Using dialogue to drive change
  16. SIMON POULTON – Manager of inbound-marketing programmes at Laserfiche
    TEAM PSYCHOLOGY: Assembling social business allies across a company
  17. SCOTT MONTY – Former chief of global digital communications at Ford Motor Co
    MAKING MESSENGERS: Using old values to make new connections
  18. MICHELLE REGNER – Founder and chief executive at Near Me
    IDEA TRUST: On making digital reputations transportable
  19. BILL STRAWDERMAN – Senior director of digital marketing and social media at Siemens USA
    MARKET MODEL: Building circles of trust
  20. JULIANA ROTICH – Co-founder and executive director at Ushahidi
    GLOBAL VOICE: Sharing solutions from the edge
  21. JOHN STEPPER – Managing director at Deutsche Bank
    FINDING HAPPINESS: Making a culture more open and work more fulfilling
  22. LAUREN VARGAS – Head of social media and community at Aetna
    THE ART OF SOCIAL: Marshalling the ground troops
  23. MARISA THALBERG – Vice-president for corporate digital marketing at Estée Lauder Cos
    ONLY CONNECT: Using social causes to connect with customers
  24. DOUG ULMAN – President and chief executive at Livestrong Foundation
    AUTHENTICITY: Re-establishing trust during crisis
  25. KRISTINA VERNER – Director of intelligent communities at Waterfront Toronto
    PUBLIC SERVICE: Creating community and commerce on the waterfront

In your opinion, how fair and accurate is this list of 25 social business leaders put together by the Economist Intelligence Unit under the supervision of their advisory board?  Any major omission?

If you enjoyed reading my article or if you wanted to react, I invite you to connect with me here, on twitter (@Visible_Banking) and on google+.

What do you think?

Written by Christophe Langlois

Based in London for almost a decade, Christophe is an entertaining fintech marketing keynote speaker and a trusted advisor to the global financial services industry on the topics of digital marketing, innovation and B2B social media.

Christophe has contributed to over 140 events in 18 countries.

Currently, Christophe is advising a number of fintech startups on marketing and growth hacking and he is the Chief Marketing Officer of The Fintech Power 50, an exclusive annual programme helping fintech scale-ups to accelerate their growth globally.

Christophe's views on are his own.

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