The top 50 customer experience professionals revealed

The CX50, compiled by Marketing Week in partnership with Zone and Cognizant, recognises the individuals who are currently excelling at creating best-in-class customer experiences, demonstrating innovation, influence and impact in their organisations and beyond.

Customer experience CX50The skills and qualities required to deliver outstanding customer experiences have never been more necessary or more in demand for brands.

In recognition of the individuals using them to achieve results for their organisation, Marketing Week, Zone and Cognizant today (27 September) announce the launch of the CX50.

The list celebrates 50 professionals who are currently demonstrating the business potential and importance of customer experience, featuring names from multiple sectors working in roles that range from marketing to technology to general management. The full 50 are named at the bottom of this article.

Some of the individuals and brands will be familiar to Marketing Week readers already, for example Tesco chief customer officer Alessandra Bellini or Centrica group marketing director Margaret Jobling. Others will be less well known to marketers but are still playing central roles in establishing their organisations’ capabilities to deliver best-in-class customer experiences, such as Zen Internet founder and CEO Richard Tang or Transport for London chief technology officer Shashi Verma.


In order to compile the CX50, Marketing Week generated a shortlist of customer experience professionals known to excel in their field, using the expertise of an advisory board consisting of its own editorial team alongside those of Centaur Media sister brands Econsultancy, Design Week and Creative Review; as well as agency Zone and its parent company Cognizant.

Using our own first-hand research, Marketing Week benchmarked these individuals based on three key criteria: innovation (the development, evolution or transformation of best-in-class customer experiences); influence (within their own organisations and beyond); and impact (the tangible results of their efforts, particularly in commercial terms).

To ensure the list is representative of the variety of business approaches to customer experience, we assessed a wide range of both industry sectors and job functions, covering marketers, designers, technologists, entrepreneurs and CEOs. We filtered the shortlist down to the 50 showing the most impressive overall pedigree on our three metrics.

The customer experience gap

The CX50 is being launched at an event organised by Zone and Cognizant, where they will also release a new report created in partnership with Marketing Week sister brand Econsultancy, which looks at ‘Bridging the customer experience gap’. It is based on surveys of both consumers and businesses, each with at least 1,000 respondents.

The report identifies six key gaps between what brands need to do to meet customer expectations and how well they are equipped to do so. These were found in the areas of experience delivery, capability, culture, technology and data, design and perception. For example, only 54% of respondents agree they have the technology needed to deliver great customer experiences.

The report goes on to recommend five key steps to improving brands’ performance on customer experience, including developing a customer experience strategy, investing in the required technology integration and refining customer-facing platforms.

READ MORE: Click here to download the ‘Bridging the customer experience gap’ report

The full CX50 list (in alphabetical order)

  • Sarah Barron, chief marketing officer, Costa Coffee
  • Anna Bateson, chief customer officer, The Guardian
  • Alessandra Bellini, chief customer officer, Tesco
  • Sarah Bentley, chief customer officer, Severn Trent
  • Tom Blomfield, CEO, Monzo Bank
  • Kerris Bright, chief customer officer, BBC
  • Tom Broughton, founder, Cubitts
  • Lara Burns, chief digital and technology officer, Age UK
  • Zoe Burns Shaw, chief customer officer, Yorkshire Water
  • Dave Clark, senior vice-president of worldwide operations, Amazon
  • Andrew Clarke, global president, Mars Wrigley Confectionery
  • Jack Constantine, chief digital officer, Lush
  • Tom Daniell, retail and brand marketing director, Aviva
  • Mark de Lange, founder and CEO, Ace & Tate
  • Peter Duffy, chief customer officer, Just Eat
  • Kristof Fahy, chief customer officer, Hostelworld
  • Mark Fells, chief customer officer, Whitbread
  • George Goley, chief technology officer, Sainsbury’s Argos
  • Sinead Greenaway, chief technology officer, UKTV
  • Mark Holt, chief technology officer, Trainline
  • Craig Inglis, customer director, John Lewis
  • Margaret Jobling, group marketing director, Centrica
  • Ed Kamm, chief customer officer, First Utility
  • Phil Lewis, director of digital experience, Boden
  • Emma Mead, group digital director, Holland & Barrett
  • Belinda Moore, marketing director, E.ON
  • Bec Mortimer, marketing director, Netflix
  • Simon Mottram, chief executive, Rapha
  • Anne Murphy, chief customer officer, Boots
  • Kenyatte Nelson, chief customer officer, Missguided
  • Iain Noakes, chief customer journey officer, The Economist
  • Heather Payne, chief technology officer, Avon
  • Fiona Spooner, global marketing director B2C, Financial Times
  • Chris Rhodes, chief products officer and propositions officer, Nationwide
  • Michelle Roberts, group marketing director, BMW UK
  • Ash Roots, managing director of digital, BT
  • Otto Rosenberger, chief operating officer,
  • Christina Scott, chief technology officer, News UK
  • Sigridur Sigurdardottir, chief customer and innovation officer UK, Santander
  • Heather Smith, managing director, direct, LV=
  • Swave Szymczyk, global director of digital and retail marketing, Adidas
  • Richard Tang, CEO, Zen Internet
  • Simon Thompson, chief product officer, Ocado
  • Shashi Verma, chief technology officer and director of customer experience, Transport for London
  • Claudia Vernon, group marketing director, Richer Sounds
  • Ruth Wasserman, design director,
  • Eve Williams, brand experience director, Asos
  • Emma Woods, customer director, Wagamama
  • Zia Zareem-Slade, customer experience director, Fortnum & Mason
  • Dave Zimmerman, director of global customer experience, QVC