21: John Fleming

Chief marketing officer, Wal-Mart Stores

Published on .

POWER PLAY: In a little more than a year and a half on the job, John Fleming, 47, has made big changes, from a first-ever agency review to an expansion of the marketing ranks with talent from unexpected places including Chrysler's Julie Roehm and Frito-Lay's Stephen Quinn. Mr. Fleming arguably is the most powerful CMO Wal-Mart has had. Although Wal-Mart's creative evolution continues to match upscale ambitions, a fresh take on the brand from a new agency promises to take it to next level.

DOWNSIDE: Despite Wal-Mart's seemingly remarkable compromises during the last year, such as its green efforts, organic foods bid and even its recent partnership with the Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, it continues to be a polarizing brand. And then there's the business-comparable-store sales have been dragging down the company's lagging stock price.

AD BUDGET: $973.3 million


* Account is in review, and incumbent Bernstein-Rein, Kansas City, Mo., has been cut

Other incumbents include:

* Omnicom's GSD&M, Austin, Texas

* Lopez Negrete Communications, Houston

* E. Morris Communications, Chicago
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