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Maryam  Banikarim

Maryam Banikarim

Global Chief Marketing Officer, Hyatt Hotels Corporation


A serial CMO that has consistently transformed the conversation with customers to drive results, Maryam Banikarim is known as a force for change and fearless risk taker with a track record of building successful brands and forging powerful partnerships. Combining experience from a range of organizations and a breadth of marketing tools proven to move organizations forward, Banikarim’s game-changing presentations focus on creating brand value that inspires loyalty and passion from employees, stakeholders, customers, and clients alike. Read More >

As the Global Chief Marketing Officer of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Banikarim helped Hyatt become the most preferred hospitality brand—driving loyalty and community among high-end travelers with a portfolio of 12 global brand experiences. Prior to this role, she was Gannett’s first-ever CMO. She is credited with repositioning the company and its brands (including USA Today), uncovering and executing the company’s core purpose, reinvigorating employee morale, and establishing a national sales organization, all of which resulted in topline growth. In a few short years, she and the management team saw the stock price go from $13 a share to over $30. Prior to Gannett, she was Senior Vice President at NBCUniversal and Chief Marketing officer for Univision Communications, Inc. Banikarim’s unique can-do attitude was also essential at “making things come to life,” successfully unifying and transforming both Univision and NBC Universal during periods of rapid transformation. Before that, she founded a strategy firm, consulting for such clients as Deutsche Bank, Bacardi and Time-Warner. She also worked at Turner Broadcasting, MacMillan Publishing, and was a lead team member for the launch of CitySearch, an early internet start-up. Maryam began her career in account management at Young & Rubicam.

A child of revolution, Banakarim and her family Iran in 1979, moving first to Paris and then to California. After graduating from Columbia University’s Barnard College, where she was their first-ever Truman Scholar, Maryam moved to Buenos Aires, Argentina to work on her Spanish, become a journalist and learn to tango. Upon acceptance to Columbia Business School, Maryam returned to New York to apply her infectious energy and drive to bring a voice and purpose to great brands.  

As a marketing force and woman leader, Banakarim’s achievements have been widely recognized. In 2017, she was named to the Forbes “Most Influential CMOs,” Agency Spotter “Top 20 Women in Marketing” and Brand Innovators “Top 100 Women in Brand Marketing”.  Additionally, she has been honored on the New York Post’s “50 Most Powerful Women in NYC,” Fast Company’s “Fast Fifty” list of corporate trailblazers and trendsetters, Fast Company’s “Top 10 Disrupters,” Crain’s New York Business and Advertising Age’s “40 under 40,” Advertising Age’s “Women to Watch,” Fast Company’s “Most Creative People in Business 1000,” and Adweek’s “Changing the Game” list of advertising women of New York. She has also appeared on TV and done radio interviews and written for such publications as Fortune, Fast Company, AdAge, The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast. She is also known as a perceptive and insightful interviewer, leading conversations with business leaders such as Lisa Gersh (Goop), Bob Pittman (iHeart Media), and Emilio Estefan (multi-cultural marketing).

Warm, down-to-earth and personifying her motto of “you only live once so run at it hard and make a difference,” Banikarim is an engaging and highly knowledgeable presence on the speaking stage. As a marketing thought leader, she is also sought-after for panels on transformation, the changing role of the CMO, purpose based branding, the future of hospitality and media and multi-cultural marketing. Bringing contagious creativity and unwavering optimism about our abilities to make the impossible possible, Maryam Banakarim inspires organizations seeking change and leaves them with the confidence and tools to take action. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Interview with Forbes

Make a Difference Day With Maryam Banikarim

You Have to Care About the Customer Experience

Communities Built on Connections

Speech Topics

The Purpose-Driven Branding Playbook

Whole Foods. Dove. Patagonia. Purpose-driven brands, ones that stand for something bigger, have been found to outperform their competition in revenue, stock performance and employee satisfaction. Today’s consumers (and other stakeholders) connect most strongly with brands that express a clear purpose and back-up these words with actions. Branding guru Maryam Banikarim shows how putting your purpose to work will align your organization, energize employees, customers and other stakeholders, and help you create long term value.

A Practical Guide to Strategic Selling

What does it take to change the conversation with clients and customers? How can organizations find growth and drive results? Putting the customer at the center, reframing the competitive landscape, and using a consultative approach are a few keys ways to unlock value, especially for a sales and marketing organization. Serial CMO Maryam Banikarim walks you through her strategic selling toolkit, sharing real-life cases from her time at Turner, Univision, NBCUniversal, Gannett and Hyatt. This essential presentation shares insights, purpose, and a broader context for achieving new growth targets, partnerships and results.

Creating Irrational Brand Loyalty

Apple. Disney. Target. Starbucks. These are the brands that have reached the pinnacle of branding by achieving the “irrational loyalty” of their customers. How did they foster a love and preference for their brands that defies mere logic? Which strategies and practices can any organization put in place? Marketing maven Maryam Banikarim explains how truly great brands endear customers in ways that create strong relationships—and drive results.

Go For It: Pursuing Your Passion

Maryam Banikarim’s unorthodox career path includes roles as an investment banker, production assistant, British Parliament intern, book publisher, handbag designer, advertising executive and internet pioneer. In this fascinating keynote, she takes women’s groups, college students – and anyone interested in pursuing their passions — on a whirlwind tour of her unusually adventurous career. Then, she outlines an instruction manual on how to create one for yourself! Maryam Banikarim throws herself headfirst into everything that she does and lets the rest take care of itself. Here’s what she’s learned: life rarely works out exactly as planned — but when each unexpected turn is met with an unyielding “all-in” commitment — you’ll be amazed how often it works out for the best!

Connect with Maryam Banikarim