Every year, Adweek rounds up the 50 most indispensable executives behind the CEO across media, tech and marketing disciplines. This year, we couldn’t be more honored to share that President, Marianne Malina, is among the list, next to brands like Uber, Snapchat, Google, Spotify and BuzzFeed.
Est. 2016 media spend: $413 million
GSD&M has been an oasis of traditional creative in Austin, Texas, for more than 45 years, a majority of those handling Southwest Airlines’ marketing. But in 2016, the Omnicom shop took a different tack. “We moved from project and client management to what we would call talent management,” says Malina, who has been president since 2012. “We came up with the idea of activating our own periodic table: How do you put together the right group of people to solve business problems?” In this way, the agency did away with the hierarchies and “staffing lanes” that too often led to overcrowded teams and handicapped its ability to deliver solutions to clients. “It changed our game completely,” Malina explains. —Patrick Coffee