Saluting 25 Silo-Bridging CMOs

Silos — span them, bust them, mix them or ventilate them. Just don’t ignore them.

Marketing silos exist as a wide variety of chasms between organizations, systems, data, channels, metrics, assumptions, and handoffs. We actually need silos to some extent, as discussed in my recent article, 10 Silos Marketing Ops Can Bridge, to allow specialization, empowerment and accountability. Yet, when they become dysfunctional, they impede customer value delivery and, consequently, short-change achievement of business results.

Chief Marketing Officers who proactively address problematic silos show true leadership in moving their enterprise forward. Today, we salute 25 CMOs who are bridging silos in their organizations to increase accountability, alignment, agility, value creation and holistic delivery of great customer experience.

The List: 25 Silo-Bridging CMOs
(in alphabetical order by company)

  1. Rob Singer, Ancestry
  2. Ann Lewnes, Adobe
  3. Jennifer Dominiquini, BBVA Compass
  4. Sean Blankenship, Coldwell Banker Real Estate
  5. Joseph V. Tripodi, Coca Cola
  6. Marcus Starke, Ciena
  7. Karen Quintos, Dell
  8. Brad Brooks, DocuSign
  9. Rishi Davé, Dun & Bradstreet
  10. Kathy Button Bell, Emerson Electric
  11. David Doctorow, Expedia
  12. Beth Comstock, GE
  13. Peter Horst, Hershey
  14. Kirk Thompson, IHOP
  15. Caroline Donahue, Intuit
  16. Marty St. George, JetBlue
  17. Alison Lewis, Johnson & Johnson
  18. John Jacko, Kennametal
  19. Clive Sirkin, Kimberly Clark
  20. David Roman, Lenovo
  21. Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard
  22. Cheri Chevalier, Microsoft Canada
  23. Marilyn Mersereau, Plantronics
  24. Heidi Melin, Plex Systems
  25. Stephanie Anderson, Time-Warner

Customers: Driving Force for Bridging Silos
“As silos solidify, your company starts to show up as disconnected in front of the customer.” — Brooks

“Functional experts do not naturally collaborate at sufficient scale on their own . . . marketers operating in silos do not lead to great experiences for the customer.” — Davé

Urgency for Bridging Silos
“It’s natural for there to have been silos, and marketing was always a silo in business, Creating that connective tissue to different functions, which we never had a connection with before, is vital.” — Lewnes

“Silos are created through the annual budget process, as well as legacy organizational structures . . . Marketers must break down silos between teams and departments.” — Blankenship

“The lines are certainly blurring between departments now . . . the challenge is to ensure that pre-existing silos do not get in the way of integrated campaigns.” — Dominiquini

Back to Basics is the Silver Bullet for Bridging Silos
“CMOs are perfectly positioned to break down silos. That’s because our job is to listen to the customer first.” — Doctorow

“The only way to be successful as a change agent is . . . integration . . . when you integrate, you silo-bust—and silos are where the big problems happen.” — Button-Bell

“The secret formula for growth is that there is no secret formula . . . it’s doing some of the basics really well, including breaking down internal silos.” — Tripodi


  • We discovered these CMOs’ silo-bridging work through first-hand experience or literature review.
  • We look forward to learning the rest of the story from each CMO.
  • For silo-bridging CMOs we’ve missed, we want to know about you! Share your achievements with us so we can spotlight you in a future article.