26: Abby Kohnstamm, Senior VP-Marketing IBM Corp.

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AGENCY ROSTER INCLUDES: Interpublic's R/GA, New York. WPP's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide, Ogilvy & Mather Interactive and OgilvyOne Worldwide, all New York. AnswerThink, New York. Modem Media, Norwalk, Conn.

POWER PLAY: Ms. Kohnstamm, 51, cleared a difficult marketing hurdle this year, overseeing the successful transition away from IBM's long-running, powerful "e-business" message to a broader "on-demand business" tag to better represent Big Blue's capabilities and future ambitions. The IBM bottom line is also strong, thanks to growth across almost all its global businesses (except financing); revenues for the first half of 2004 hit $45.4 billion, up nearly 9% from a year earlier.

DOWNSIDE: IBM is betting its business, and brand, on several still-emerging technologies including on-demand computing and the Linux open-source operating system. It has invested heavily not only in marketing and advertising these ideas, but also in supporting them, for example, with the purchase of PwC Consulting in late 2002 and the revamp of internal systems. While IBM has signed up many customers (some used as case studies in its print advertising), on-demand needs to be in even greater demand for continued growth.

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