Senior VP-Chief Marketing Officer, General ElectricGeneral Electric's Beth Comstock is deep into her second stint on the job after more than two years spent at NBC Universal, where she was president of integrated media, overseeing ad sales and leading up digital-media development, including the $600 million acquisition of iVillage and the launch of Hulu.
Ms. Comstock returned to GE in 2008 and has focused much of the company's marketing content on innovation. Case in point: GE's "Ecoimagination" platform that highlights its use of green technologies. She's also invested significantly in digital content and in carving out a presence on social networks like Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook, where GE recently launched its ambitious HealthyShare app designed to enable users to share health goals with friends. During her tenure, GE has exhibited an eagerness to partner with emerging media companies like Buzzfeed and has also teamed up with media agency OMD to launch a summer startup incubator.
President-CEO, Advertising CouncilIf there's one name you need to know in the world of public-service advertising, it's Peggy Conlon. As president-CEO of the Advertising Council, she carries the torch for the industry via the nonprofit that distributes public-service announcements on everything from encouraging people to buckle their seatbelts to adopting a child from foster care. During her tenure, the Ad Council has worked on behalf of the American Red Cross, the American Heart Association, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the United Way of America, among many others.
Chairman from 1974 to 1996, Crain CommunicationsChairman of Ad Age publisher Crain Communications from 1974 to 1996, Gertrude Crain was well known for her adventurous spirit -- going parasailing, for example, on her 80th birthday. But she was also a legend in the publishing and ad business. She received the Magazine Publishers of America's Henry Johnson Fisher Award, the industry's highest honor, in 1993, and was inducted into the AAF Hall of Fame posthumously in 1997. She passed away in 1996 at age 85.
Senior Corporate VP, Estée LauderShe launched Estée Lauder's Clinque brand and was first to don the white lab coat worn by its sales reps. But Evelyn Lauder's biggest mark is the pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness, which with her friend Alexandra Penney in 1991. Ms. Lauder passed away in November at age 75.
Editor-at-Large, FortuneEditor-at-large at Fortune, and co-chair of Fortune's Most Powerful Women Summit. There are few women on this list that Pattie Sellers hasn't interviewed, profiled or included in the Most Powerful Women's network she founded at Fortune. She is the storyteller and chronicler of the influential women in media, marketing, advertising and every other industry, for that matter. However, she is also one of them. She has helmed the annual Most Powerful Women in Business editorial since it began in 1998 and became a community the next year.
The invitation-only event is billed as the "world's premiere gathering of women leaders," and has included speakers such as Warren Buffet, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, Martha Stewart, Marissa Mayer and Chelsea Handler. She has since expanded the brand online with daily news and ideas on her blog, Postcards (subtitled "How the Power Players Do It"), and across social media. The franchise she founded, Most Powerful Women, is Fortune's biggest franchise and moneymaker after the Fortune 500.