The Idea

The requirements that have to be met by a Chief Marketing Officer have undergone radical changes. Growing complexity, continuing fragmentation, the increasing number of communication options available and the break-up of traditional sales channels mean that such officers need higher levels of specialist knowledge, personal abilities, corporate vision and clear business acumen. Existing business models are undergoing further development in marketing departments, including the optimisation of their profitability. New business models are being initiated and established.

With the “CMO of the Year” award, the nine members of the CMO of the Year Council, the previous year’s winner and the Innovation Day partners are honouring the Chief Marketing Officer who has most successfully met these requirements over the one-year review period. The CMO of the Year is therefore considered to be the representative role model for the entire sector.

The award has been presented four times so far: to Eric Liedtke in 2017, to Hans-Christian Schwingen in 2016, Godo Röben in 2015 and Dr. Ian Robertson in 2014. Last year’s winner has been awarded at the celebratory CMO Award Night on the evening of 28 September at Alte Bayerische Staatsbank in Munich.

CMO of the Year 2017

Eric Liedtkeadidas

CMO of the Year 2016

Hans-Christian SchwingenDeutsche Telekom

CMO of the Year 2015

Godo RöbenRügenwalder Mühle

CMO of the Year 2014

Dr. Ian RobertsonBMW

The Methodology

From 2017 on the motto of the CMO of the Year award is “From CMOs for CMOs”. Potential candidates for the award have been chosen since 2014 from Germany’s top advertising spenders, nominated brands from the Best Brands study and nominations by a 20-strong circle of experts, but now the CMO of the Year Council is taking over responsibility for identifying the finalists. It consists of 80 Chief Marketing Officers from well-known German companies and assesses the potential prize-winners on the basis of the five criteria listed below.

The top candidates identified in this way are then discussed and evaluated by a balanced award jury in a meeting lasting several hours. Dossiers generated by the Institute for Marketing of the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) form the basis for this.

  • Person

    Experience and knowledge, awards, social commitment, etc.

  • Success

    Revenues, profit margin, market share, brand development, etc.

  • Image

    Reputation in the press, public perception, etc.

  • Innovation

    Products, price/distribution/communication policy, etc.

  • Internationality

    International sphere of influence of the CMO

The Jury

This year’s jury will be announced in a couple of weeks. Last year’s jury selecting the Chief Marketing Officer 2017 consisted of nine members of the of the CMO of the Year Council, the CMO of the Year 2016 and ten marketing and media experts:

Carsten HendrichZalando
Jürgen HerrmannRitter Sport
Antje NeubauerDeutsche Bahn
Bernd RützlerKärcher
Tim SchiffersParship Elite Group
Sabine Schmittwilkeninnogy SE
Fabian SeelenbrandtWebasto
Anja StolzCommerzbank
Hannes WegeRotkäppchen-Mumm Sektkellereien

 CMO of the Year 2016 

Hans-Christian SchwingenDeutsche Telekom
Horst von ButtlarCapital
Matthias Dang IP Deutschland
Hans Demmeln-tv
Ronald FockenServiceplan Group
Florian HallerServiceplan Group
Sascha LekicSamsung Electronics
Thomas LindnerF.A.Z.
Prof. Dr. Anton MeyerLMU
Ingo MüllerF.A.Z.
Frank VogelG+J Media Sales
Dr. Uwe VorkötterHorizont

Dr. Uwe Vorkötter, Editor-in-Chief of Horizont, will also be supporting the jury as a specialist media representative. The chairman and spokesperson of this year’s jury is Prof. Dr. Anton Meyer, Head of the Institute for Marketing at LMU.

Here is an overview of the CMO of the Year Council:

The Nominees

The CMO of the Year Council nominated five Chief Marketing Officers in Germany who were set to run for the title of “CMO of the Year 2017”. The nominated top 5 for 2017 were (in alphabetical order):

Eric Liedtke

Adidas AG

Claas Meineke

Edeka AG & Co. KG

Henning Strauss

Engelbert Strauss GmbH & Co. KG

Dr. Jens Thiemer

Daimler AG

Hildegard Wortmann


The Winners

Eric Liedtke

adidas, CMO of the Year 2017

Hans-Christian Schwingen

Deutsche Telekom, CMO of the Year 2016

Godo Röben

Rügenwalder Mühle, CMO of the Year 2015

Dr. Ian Robertson

BMW, CMO of the Year 2014