22: Mich Mathews

Published on .

Ad budget: $920 million

Agency roster: Interpublic Group of Cos.' McCann-Erickson Worldwide, San Francisco and New York, Interpublic's FutureBrand, McCann Relationship Marketing, WPP Group's Landor & Associates, San Francisco.

Power play: Ms. Mathews, 36, streamlined Microsoft's marketing organization in order to have fewer touch-points and layers of management. The Central Marketing Organization that she built was put to the test in launching the company's latest operating system--Windows XP. Ms. Mathews worked closely with Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer to create a new mission and brand position around empowering people and businesses to reach their full potential. The results of those efforts will hopefully be infused in a forthcoming TV and print ad campaign.

Downside: Repositioning the world's biggest software company as a kinder, gentler monopoly may be a tough sell to consumers with long memories.

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