Earlier last week Forbes, in partnership with Sprinklr, crowned Bozoma "Bad Ass Boz" Saint John as the world's most influential CMO of 2021. And when I read the article I found myself internally cheering for her and feeling a sense of pride. Now, I'll admit that's not a usual announcement that would excite me, but anyone who is familiar with Bozoma can understand why I'd root for her.
For those who aren't, let me give you some background. The first time I was introduced to Ms. Saint John, the Chief Marketing Officer of Netflix, was on Instagram Live having a girl talk with Saweetie. That alone was enough for me to immediately click the follow button. I mean it's not often that we see corporate executives interacting much on the 'gram, especially authentically and with celebrities. My instincts were right because since then, I've seen her flick it up with Jay Z, travel the world, and offer major fashion inspo.
But don't get it twisted, her lifestyle comes with a lot of hard work.
The role of a CMO, a Chief Marketing Officer, is to oversee all marketing efforts for corporate entities. Prior to joining the streaming giant, Bozoma served as CMO for Pepsi, Uber, and Apple, just to name a few. She joined Netflix about a year ago and has already led multiple campaigns, including an innovative one to limit spoilers for a show called Money Heist, where fans watched the final season on a flight.
Therefore unable to share any information online and ruin it for other viewers. In an interview with Adweek, she said:
"If I'm having a great time with it, then somebody else is also going to be having a great time with it. For us [Netflix], member joy is really at the heart of what it is that we're trying to deliver. We want people to see themselves on screen, but we also want them to explore and to find new ways of being."
According to Adweek, Netflix has brought in 1.5 million new subscribers from July to September alone. Although Bozoma makes a point not to shy away from the praise of her efforts, she also credits Netflix's storytelling for their success.
I think for years there's been this assumption that if you want to climb the corporate ladder, or reach a certain level of success, there's an urgent and specific path one must follow. There's a way to look and act. But, Bozoma defies all of that. She shows up her authentic self, red nails, lipstick and all. And she focuses on the goal rather than the plan.
In a YouTube interview with Forbes, she said:
"Urgency is not about speed. It's about the depth and intention of what I'm trying to accomplish. I want to make sure that I get everything that I can out of this life."
It's clear that she lives by this personally and professionally.
For more on Bozoma Saint John, check her out on social media and be on the lookout for her memoir, available 2022.
Featured image by Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Glamour