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12: Jan Thompson

VP-marketing, Nissan and Infiniti brands, Nissan North America

Published on .

POWER PLAY: Jan Thompson shook up "old media" in a speech May 31 in which she likened Yahoo, MSN and Google to TV networks. She revealed expanded marketing and research relationships with the online titans. This summer, Ms. Thompson followed her own advice, launching the new Versa small car on NBC as title sponsor of its online-only "Star Tomorrow" battle of the bands.

DOWNSIDE: Ms. Thompson lost a sizable chunk of her staff when Nissan moved its headquarters from California to Nashville this summer. That means she's had to ready a slew of the Nissan brand's crucial later-year launches with a new team.

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