Heineken enjoyed strong growth in 2014, particularly with the launch of niche beers such as tequila-flavoured Desperados. The launch was part of Jacco van der Linden’s strategy to fuel growth by introducing new products. From his position on the board, it is clear that marketing has played a significant role in the company’s success. Spoken with the confidence of a marketer whose work has attracted and seen off a bid from rival SABMiller, van der Linden says his lightbulb moment was learning to “always stand up for what you believe in, even when that may seem like the harder route to take”. Since his Vision 100 nomination in 2015, van der Linden has been promoted to managing director of Heineken China.
Best advice: "Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."