Vice President, Sales and Marketing, Waste Management
Named one of Selling Power’s “50 Best Companies to Sell For” three years running, the Houston-based waste-disposal giant consistently draws top sales talent thanks to generous compensation packages, a formidable training program and steady customer growth and retention. Somewhere near the core of that winning formula stands Urian, a New Jersey native who rose through the ranks at Waste Management following graduation from Rutgers University as a marketing student. Known for his dynamic team-building exercises and results-oriented management style, Urian, no doubt, will remain busy as Waste Management workers continue to haul trash and clear debris in Florida and Texas in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Chief Commercial Officer, PwC
Following more than two decades serving global clients, Walker was named chief commercial officer at the global accounting firm in 2016, a position that has required him to showcase the PwC brand to clients, communities, the media and the public at large. No easy task, he earned the lofty title after 25 years at the London-based Big Four auditor by working his way up from senior manager at the firm to a position in 2004 as a market manager partner specializing in advising tech client. Additionally, the Georgia native serves on the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America and as chairman of the Georgia Center for Nonprofits.
Chief Commercial Officer, Xerox Corporation
Following a bold spin-off of the Xerox Corporation’s business services unit in 2016, analysts predict 2018 may well be a banner year for the 111-year-old company. Under newly installed CEO Jeff Jacobson and the sales leadership of Warren, the Connecticut-based company this year began streamlining its sales strategy, foregoing direct sales in favor of a shift to small- and medium-size businesses. That pivot should help Warren and his team market more than a dozen new products in its A3-line of desktop printers, which the company unveiled earlier this year. “For years, there’ve been a number of customers we’ve called on directly, that quite candidly we shouldn’t,” Jacobson told CRN in August. “We’re going to work with our resellers to have them call on them and do it more through telesales as we change our model, so that logo-hunters can focus on enterprise customers in the industry.”
Chief Operating Officer, Individual Annuity Business, AXA
It’s no big stretch to say Woll, the talented chief operating officer of the French insurance multinational AXA, changed how mergers and acquisitions are structured. In 2015, a record year in which a whopping $4.7 trillion in deals were closed, Woll and colleagues spearheaded AXA’s Escrow Shield Plus insurance plan, an instrument designed exclusively for merger parties. The offering marked the first time an insurance company had dipped its toe into the M&A business, and it’s only grown in importance as acquisitions activity continues apace. “Along with our partner SRS Acquiom, which has analyzed thousands of private target transactions, we realized an opportunity to deliver both economic and non-economic value to the closing and post-closing process via escrow,” said Woll, a former Ernst & Young executive, in an interview earlier this year. “That is the genesis of the idea for Escrow Shield Plus.”
Chairman of Advertising Sales and Client Partnerships, NBCUniversal
Regarding perennial forecasts of doom and gloom for network television advertising, the 2017 upfronts provided proof positive that reports of its demise are greatly exaggerated. Thanks in no small measure to Yaccarino, an outspoken NBCUniversal executive since 2011, the peacock network tallied its best sales cycle yet, closing $6.5 billion in deals across its portfolio of television and digital assets—an 8 percent, year-over-year gain attributed, in part, to an erosion of confidence in digital platforms, like YouTube and Google, that frequently place ads next to offensive content. “The inability of companies of that magnitude to guarantee brand safety was truly the straw that broke the camel’s back,” Yaccarino told The Hollywood Reporter at the conclusion of the industry’s selling season in June. Unwilling to rest on her laurels, however, NBC’s chairman of advertising sales also locked horns with Nielsen earlier this year, taking the market research firm to task for its decision to provide audience engagement metrics for streaming video on Hulu and YouTube. “Linda has the ability to stay a step ahead, and I think she’s done that wherever she’s been,” Julie Rieger, a senior media executive at 20th Century Fox, told The New York Times in May. “She is in some ways the Wayne Gretzky of media. It’s not about where the puck is—it’s about where the puck is going.”
Vice President of Sales, LanguageLine Solutions
With the $1.52 billion acquisition of LanguageLine Solutions by French call center operator Teleperformance last year, the Monterey, California–based company’s online phone and video translation services got a massive shot in the arm. For Yoxon-Grant, who joined the company nearly 20 years ago as a sales executive based in the United Kingdom, the acquisition has widened the market for LanguageLine’s 5,000 interpreters, in part thanks to the integration of its services this year across 5,000 new Teleperformance-operated call centers. “Vigorous momentum in our most profitable markets…and the integration of the high value-added operations of LanguageLine Solutions led us to achieve another record high margin,” said Daniel Julien, executive chairman of Teleperformance, in an earnings call earlier this year.
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