The Book of Tens 2010

Book of Tens: People to Watch

Some Have a Tough Road Ahead in 2011, but All Are Poised for Greatness

Published on .

(From left) Natalia Franco, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Simon, Tina Brown, Bob McDonald, Nick Brien, Ken Jautz, Steve Burke, Sheryl Sandberg
(From left) Natalia Franco, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Simon, Tina Brown, Bob McDonald, Nick Brien, Ken Jautz, Steve Burke, Sheryl Sandberg
Bob McDonald
Procter & Gamble
It's been a year-and-a-half since the former Army man took the chairman-CEO reins from A.G. Lafley. And while results have improved and P&G is broadly gaining share again, increasing competition, rising commodity costs and harder comparisons make 2011 a tougher year. To that end, it's launched a "just one more" campaign to get consumers in North America, where it has near-full penetration, to buy at least one more P&G product. And it's working hard to reach a billion more among the world's 6.7 billion consumers within five years (last year it added 200 million, right on target ). Still, some analysts and people close to the company believe that to succeed, McDonald needs a big restructuring or a big acquisition.

Oprah Winfrey
Daytime Icon
Oprah's OWN cable network starts up on New Year's Day, making her the biggest name yet to switch to cable from broadcast. She'll be following Martha Stewart, whose jump to cable has largely flopped, and Conan O' Brien, who's move has proved more successful. It's been a rocky road to the launch of OWN, which is a joint venture between Oprah's Harpo Inc. and Discovery Network, though it's managed to snag eight-figure ad deals from the likes of P&G, GM and Kohl's. Oprah, for her part, plans to end her daily daytime talk show that runs on ABC in May 2011 after 25 years.

Sheryl Sandberg
Sandberg was tapped as Facebook's chief operating officer in March 2008. At the time, many likened her appointment to the role Eric Schmidt played when he arrived at Google to join co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. She was the "grown up," brought in to run the business, build out Facebook's revenue and turn it into a real operating company. But unlike Page and Brin, who gave up the CEO crown to Schmidt, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has yet to relinquish the title, leading us to wonder: When will Sandberg be named CEO, and, if not, when will she jump ship -- and to where?

Bill Simon
Declines in comp store sales have slowed and traffic has improved since Simon took over as president of Walmart U.S. in July and the retailer retreated from its brand-deletion movement. The exec, upped from COO, a role he'd held since 2007, has been credited with improvements in service and cleaner stores. But will his push to refocus on "Everyday Low Pricing" and Walmart's core consumer while trying "smallmarts" in urban areas return the behemoth to topline growth?

Steve Burke
Once the NBC Universal acquisition is approved, Burke will be the division's new head, and responsibility for reviving the NBC network and making more of NBCU's cable portfolio will rest on his shoulders. But perhaps his biggest potential influence will be on how marketers advertise, by melding the one-to-one addressable technology of Comcast's cable distribution with the content and programming might of NBC Universal. Expect him to use Comcast technology to make enhanced advertising functions a selling point for NBCU.

Nick Brien
McCann Worldgroup
He took over the troubled agency giant in January and the word on the street was if anyone could fix Interpublic's problem child -- and marquee global network -- it was Brien, who'd led a similar turnaround at Universal McCann before launching and leading Mediabrands, the group for all of IPG's media assets. But after a relatively quiet 2010, Brien has started to make waves, persuading creative star Linus Karlsson to leave the successful New York office of Mother for McCann's New York and London outposts. Look for more movement in 2011, when he'll also need a few big wins to cement a change in momentum.

Ken Jautz
Jautz was named exec VP of CNN's U.S. operations in September, taking over for Jon "Middle Road" Klein and promising to make CNN's prime time more "compelling and engaging, sometimes more fun, you could even say." No stranger to shaking things up, Jautz put radio talker Glenn Beck on TV back when he was running CNN sibling HLN. He'll be overseeing the debut of Piers Morgan, the colorful British TV host who takes over Larry King's timeslot come July, and he'll be deciding the fate of the newly launched Eliot Spitzer show. Already CNN got a lot less boring.

Natalia Franco
Burger King
Tapped in May to be the fast feeder's exec VP-global CMO, Franco was previously global VP-marketing and innovation at Coca-Cola Co., where she was charged with supervision of the brand's division that serviced BK rival McDonald's. The Harvard-educated Latina was a shrewd choice for the traditionally testosterone-fueled marketer, which has had more than one cultural misstep, as it looks to improve relations among women and ethnic minorities.

Ivan Pollard
The former global partner at Naked Communications in London is relocating to Atlanta to take on the role of VP-global connections at the beverage giant. He had been working with Coca-Cola in his role at the agency, most recently leading the integrated agency efforts for the brand's World Cup efforts, and his new role will include leading the company's efforts to engage consumers through paid, owned, shared and earned media. With Coca-Cola CMO Joe Tripodi ushering in an era of increased marketing creativity, look for big things for this team in 2011.

Tina Brown
The NewsBeast
The editrix with a history of resurrecting sleepy rags (New Yorker, Vanity Fair) will have the test of her life as she looks to remake Newsweek in her image. In a deal that put Brown at the top of the edit masthead, her IAC-financed site The Daily Beast will be merged with Newsweek and take over the magazine's web presence. Brown's efforts will demonstrate whether or not a glamorous editor can pull an ailing newsweekly back to profitability.

Most Popular