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Maryam  Banikarim

Maryam Banikarim

Global Chief Marketing Officer, Hyatt Hotels Corporation


Maryam is known as a purpose-driven change agent. She is creative, wicked smart, a fearless risk taker, and someone who gets things done. Her natural born agility has meant that she has thrived in a variety of organizations, from large scale corporate to early stage start-up. In each case she has imaginatively applied a wide breadth of marketing tools to move the organization forward, creating value and inspiring employees, partners and clients alike. Read More >

Warm, down-to-earth and willing to battle for a cause (whether it be a company, an initiative, a team member or a rising star), Maryam is never afraid to roll up her sleeves. All of this combined with her ability to make the impossible possible is why she is brought into companies who are looking for change. 

As the Global Chief Marketing Officer of Hyatt Hotels Corporation, Maryam is responsible for helping Hyatt become the most preferred hospitality brand—driving loyalty and community among high-end travelers with a portfolio of 12 global brand experiences. Known for her boundless curiosity and ability to build dynamic teams and forge powerful partnerships, she is a force for change.  

Prior to this role, Banikarim 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 NBC Universal and Chief Marketing officer for Univision Communications, Inc. Maryam’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, Maryam 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.  

Maryam’s unorthodox career path is a result of her boundless energy and inquisitiveness. She has held a variety of jobs including: investment banker, production assistant, British Parliament intern, book publisher, handbag designer, advertising executive and internet pioneer. The range of Maryam’s experience is part of what sets her apart, as it allows her to see new ideas and connections where others do not. 

Maryam’s motto “you only live once so run at it hard and make a difference” comes as no surprise when you consider that she was the child of revolution. Her family fled 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.   

Maryam’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 is sought-after for panels on transformation, the changing role of the CMO, purpose based branding, the future of hospitality and media and on multi-cultural marketing. Maryam is also known as a perceptive and insightful interviewer. She has led conversations with such business leaders as: Lisa Gersh (Goop) Bob Pittman (iHeart Media) & Emilio Estefan (multi-cultural marketing). 

Maryam has appeared on TV and done radio interviews. For example, while at Gannett she was on the Today Show to talk about the company’s “Make a Difference Day” initiative. She has also written for such publications as Fortune, Fast Company, AdAge, The Huffington Post and The Daily Beast

Maryam resides in Chicago with her husband, two teenage children and their dog Charlie. 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

Purpose Driven Leadership 


Strategic Selling, Marketing & Communication 

Pursuing Your Passion

Connect with Maryam Banikarim