Her "take no prisoners" interviews zero in on diverse topics ranging from corporate layoffs to the future of biofuel stocks, and she's got a big a fan in the C-suite.
NBC Universal CEO Jeff Zucker insisted CNBC get Ms. Burnett on air ASAP when she joined the network.
CNBC CEO Mark Hoffman, who spotted Ms. Burnett's talent, says, "She's bright, she's driven and she loves what she's doing. Combine all that, and it's infectious on TV."
"I went to the business side doing interviews. I did thousands of them," Ms. Burnett recalls. "That's when I realized I love interviews; I had my 'Eureka' moment."
Along with promoting the players and DVDs, he's working across Sony divisions -- music, movies, computers and entertainment -- to help connect the Blu dots, so to speak.
"I had a really cool job, but now it's an even cooler job because I get to strategize with all these different people across all of Sony," says the 37-year-old VP-home products division at Sony Electronics.
Randy Waynick, senior VP of the division and Mr. Fawcett's boss, describes him as a passionate storyteller who motivates the whole team. "Chris looks at the marketing ... with the eyes of a consumer," Mr. Waynick says. "This results in messages that speak to people at an emotional, personal level. ... Bravia is a perfect example."
LISA RYAN HOWARD
Start by putting Lisa Ryan Howard in charge. "The internet penetrates all aspects of the consumer selling cycle," says Ms. Howard, who holds the title of VP-publisher for Style.com and Men.Style.com. "When we're talking to our advertisers, their objectives could be awareness, conversion, trial, retention. The internet is the one medium that allows us to address all those aspects."
But Ms. Howard, 36, has more than a confident pitch; she's hired a diverse group of people from TV, software development and print to go with her online ad sales crew in a holistic, even unconventional approach to meeting marketers' goals.
"You just know that she's going to make it work," says Dee Salomon, senior VP-sales and marketing at CondéNet, where the two websites reside. "Trust goes a long way."
GOODBY, SILVERSTEIN & PARTNERS
Photo: Claude Shade
"He's our librarian to the world," says Rich Silverstein, co-chairman of the San Francisco agency. Mr. Silverstein admires Mr. Bajwa's e-mails and blog focused on developments in the digital world. It runs from news of Japanese mobile marketer NTT DoCoMo's phones, which project holograms of people, to the expansive view of the possibilities of social networking, such as fitting rooms with cameras that allow shoppers to have friends see them in a new dress anywhere in the world.
"We all got on his bus, and he's driving us into the new age," says Mr. Silverstein, adding that Mr. Bajwa, 26, has brought tech-oriented thinking to almost every Goodby account.
"I sprinkle random things and see the connection," Mr. Bajwa says. "Now anything could become advertising."
Mr. Jiang, 34, is building an empire via Focus Media, a network of flat-screen monitors airing TV commercials for marketers including Samsung, Nokia, Eastman Kodak Co., General Motors Corp. and McDonald's Corp.
"We reach consumers around their lifestyle," says Mr. Jiang, Focus' founder and chairman-CEO. The media pioneer began by placing monitors in office lobbies and elevators, then quickly expanded to common areas in residential buildings, restaurants, bars and shopping malls. Today, he's focusing on advertising via the internet and mobile phones.
Focus became China's largest listed ad company in 2005. During the first quarter of this year, revenue grew 75.4% vs. a year earlier to $58.1 million. The Shanghai native, whose charming demeanor and love of poetry belie shrewd investment acumen, used the funds to buy competitors and to develop digital-media businesses.
PEPSI-COLA NORTH AMERICA
He's had an especially busy year in 2007 overseeing the January global brand makeover using rotating package graphics, the "More happy" ad campaign and the "Design Our Pepsi Can" online promotion that drew 90,000 entries and 900,000 unique visits.
These exploits cap a nine-year run at Pepsi, where the 38-year-old started as director-product innovation, and later conceived and ran the "Pepsi Play for a Billion" TV game show.
"He is one of the most creative people at Pepsi," says Cie Nicholson, Pepsi-Cola North America chief marketing officer, adding that "nothing could be more challenging than being VP on Pepsi because it's so big, so visible, so important with the company."
Ms. Hand, 38, oversees $280 million in marketing initiatives worldwide for the oil company, but she's also taking little steps to turn around consumer perceptions. Take, for example, the Helios Power initiative. It includes the green design of a gas station in Los Angeles with an eco-friendly grass roof and sustainable water and landscaping.
Ms. Hand says that at age 6 she told her father she was going to become the president of IBM and he could be her gardener. Ms. Hand bombed in her IBM interview but found herself at an oil giant that, she says, is trying to go "green with a ton of humility."
It's that humility that has made her successful, says Rick Fedrizzi, president-CEO of the U.S. Green Council, which cited the BP gas station as a place making people rethink transportation.
As managing partner-digital branding at dñg, the agency's Hispanic unit, Ms. Aragones must ensure campaigns for clients like Kia Motors America are integrated.
Although her career had been focused on the auto business, Ms. Aragones, 37, was a main part of the team at the indie Los Angeles shop that created a winning 2007 Reggie Award entry for Universal Studios Hollywood's "Halloween Horror Nights," which surpassed the client's attendance expectations by 40%.
She also helped Kia integrate its largest U.S. sports sponsorship of nine NBA teams and partnerships with five local-market stations.
Kia VP-Marketing Ian Beavis describes Ms. Aragones as a "strong strategist." He praises her creative approaches -- always tied to a business solution. "She's a real asset to that agency."
With "a lot" of quantitative and positioning research in early 2006, the appropriately named Mr. Evangelist learned that Blockbuster customers liked the convenience and selection of online rental and the spontaneity and instant gratification of swapping DVDs in stores. The 34-year-old senior VP-general manager of Blockbuster Online then masterminded Blockbuster's November launch of "Total Access," a flexible rental system that lets online customers also trade DVDs in stores.
It doubled Blockbuster's online subscriber base to nearly 3 million, putting Netflix on the defensive for the first time. Netflix responded with a patent lawsuit and lowered its earnings outlook.
The program "changed the world for us," Blockbuster Chairman-CEO John Antioco told Reuters in June.
Utah and its snowy vistas -- Mr. Atkinson is a longtime ski racer -- won out. He soon added the customer navigation experience to his Overstock.com charge, and today, with the title of marketing chief of staff, the 25-year-old heads a 30-person group responsible for search, e-mail programs and more. "Geoff looks young, so you're taken aback when you first meet him that they've put so much trust and power in his hands," says Michael Oiknine, chief operating officer of personalization-marketing operation Kefta, San Francisco. "Very quickly you understand why."