Chief Marketing Officer of the Year Recipients Announced

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Award Recognizes Senior Marketing Executives for Excellence in Their Field

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The Chief Marketing Officer Institute announced today the winners of its Chief Marketing Officer of the Year award. The CMO Institute created the award to recognize Chief Marketing Officers, or executives in an equivalent position, who demonstrated outstanding leadership across various disciplines of the marketing field during the prior year. This year’s winners include marketers that overcame lackluster economic conditions to produce impressive results in two categories: large organizations (revenue greater than $250 million) and small to mid-size organizations (revenue less than $250 million).

Nominees were evaluated across several categories of performance, including: market orientation and customer intimacy, accountability for results, commitment to innovation, and overall contribution to the success of their company. Based on these measures, this year’s winners are:

LARGE ORGANIZATION ($250 million or more in revenue)
Arun Sinha – Chief Marketing Officer, Zurich Financial Services

SMALL TO MID-SIZE ORGANIZATION (Less than $250 million in revenue)
Wesley Bolsen – Chief Marketing Officer, Coskata, Inc.

Sinha and Bolsen were selected as CMO of the Year based on detailed information about their achievements, which were reviewed by a distinguished panel of judges. This year’s judges included:

David Aardsma – Senior Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Waste Management, Inc.
Joan Chow – EVP & Chief Marketing Officer, ConAgra Foods
Peter N. Golder – Professor of Marketing, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth College
Philip Kotler – Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University
Lesya Lysyj – SVP & Chief Marketing Officer, Heineken USA
Catherine Sadler – SVP & Chief Marketing Officer, Banana Republic

Commenting on the performance of Zurich Financial Services CMO, Arun Sinha, judge David Aardsma noted, “in terms of strategy, accountability, and market orientation Sinha’s effort in 2010 was the most complete. And while Zurich’s recognition as one of the top 100 Best Global Brands for 2010 by Interbrand is certainly a manifestation of that effort, his impact was much broader. Indeed, it was culturally transformative.”

Wes Bolsen, Chief Marketing Officer at Coskata, Inc. – a leading developer of next generation biofuels – similarly distinguished himself among his peers at small to mid-sized companies. “I am truly humbled by this recognition. At the same time, I must recognize the entire Coskata team for the success of our marketing programs in 2010. Everyone here understands the vision for what is possible and helps the company communicate that to our various stakeholders.”

Exclusive interviews with each of the CMO of the Year finalists – in which they discuss the strategies and tactics they employed to achieve their success – are currently featured on, a partner of The CMO Institute. Sinha and Bolsen will also be showcased in a future volume of The CMO Journal, published by The Chief Marketing Officer Institute.

Headquartered in Atlanta, The Chief Marketing Officer Institute is an industry association dedicated to serving as the premier resource for researchers and practitioners interested in the role and leadership challenges facing the CMO and other marketing executives. To learn more about The CMO Institute, access its online research library, and/or register for special announcements related to future volumes of The CMO Journal, please visit

The CMO Journal was created to help accelerate the pace of theory development and critical discussion concerning executive leadership within the marketing discipline. It is published bi-annually by The Chief Marketing Officer Institute and distributed exclusively by the American Marketing Association. Submissions are peer reviewed by a distinguished panel of experts and selected for inclusion in the journal based on the importance of their contribution to marketing discipline, clarity, and suitability. To learn more about The CMO Journal, please visit or


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Elizabeth Smith
The CMO Institute
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