Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Mastercard, and WFA Global Marketer of the Year 2018, in conversation with David Wheldon,RBS CMO and WFA Vice-President.

Published on Apr 3, 2019


The marketing community elected Raja Rajamannar, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer at Mastercard, as the WFA Global Marketer of the Year 2018.


Press release
February 8, 2019

Mastercard’s Raja Rajamannar named WFA Global Marketer of the Year
Award celebrates marketers who are making a difference for business and society

Raja Rajamannar, the Chief Marketing & Communications Officer of Mastercard, has been named WFA Global Marketer of the Year 2018. Rajamannar won following a combined vote by an expert jury and the industry at large, with each accounting for 50% of the final score.

“I’m deeply honoured and humbled. In reality, this recognition should go to my entire team. No one person can do everything by himself or herself and I’m blessed to be able to work with an amazing group of talented professionals,” said Raja Rajamannar. “No other field has more capability than marketing to impact a company’s brand, its reputation as well as bring about social impact. I feel proud to have been a part of this discipline for more than 30 years”, he added.

“I’d like to congratulate Raja on behalf of the global marketing industry. He has demonstrated how senior marketers can lead the way in proving the value that marketing adds, how purpose can be part of a brand mission and how a brand can adapt to the digital age. He is a worthy winner of this important award,” said David Wheldon, WFA President & CMO RBS, who headed up the expert jury.

WFA Global Marketer of the Year 2018, which has been run in partnership with The Drum, is designed to celebrate the role that global and regional marketers play in changing their businesses, the industry and society for the better.

Rajamannar was one of six global marketers to be shortlisted for the award, the others were:

  • Ukonwa Ojo, Chief Marketing Officer, Consumer Beauty at Coty
  • Marc Pritchard, Chief Brand Officer at Procter & Gamble
  • Syl Saller, Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer at Diageo
  • Keith Weed, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer at Unilever
  • Claudia Willvonseder, Chief Marketing Officer at Ikea Group

The shortlist was selected by an expert jury from across the industry, following nominations from WFA members.

Rajamannar and the other global marketers on the shortlist demonstrated outstanding leadership in three key areas:

  • Evolving their organisation to be more people-centric, better able to respond to consumer needs and building happier, more engaged teams internally;
  • Working smarter with partners, be they agencies or vendors, and ensuring that the whole team is aligned to the same goals;
  • Delivering inspiring work that genuinely makes a difference, be that cultural, social or for the business.Stephan Loerke, CEO of the WFA, said: “Being a global marketer is not easy but Raja and his colleagues on the shortlist demonstrate how it is possible to thrive in this role and make a real difference to the business. Our industry should be proud of what all of the shortlisted CMOs have achieved and use them as an example for the future. Congratulations to them all.”