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Best Workplaces for Innovators 2022: Innovative Leader of the Year

MRM’s Jayna Kothary takes top honors.

Best Workplaces for Innovators 2022: Innovative Leader of the Year
[Photo: Elijah Hiett/Unsplash]

This story is part of Fast Company’s Best Workplaces for Innovators 2022. Explore the full list of companies that are leading incubators of internal innovation talent.

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Whether growing new companies from internal ideas or continuing to roll up their sleeves to work in the trenches, these five leaders have inspired their teams to innovate.

Winner: 

Jayna Kothary, Global Chief Technology Officer, MRM

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New York, New York

The first woman to serve as global CTO at marketing agency MRM, Kothary opened the company’s innovation hub, Lab13, to make its tools accessible to all employees; and launched a new innovation-as-a-service offering that allows clients to access MRM’s multidisciplinary expertise on a subscription basis, leading to new work with such brands as Nestlé, Coca-Cola, and Amazon.

[Illustration: Saiman Chow]
Finalists:

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Sajit Joseph, Chief Innovation Officer, American Red Cross

Washington, D.C.

Joseph has structured his team to function as a hybrid between a management consultancy and a tech startup.

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Erik Lium, Chief Commercial Innovation Officer, Mount Sinai Health System

New York, New York

Lium has helped create 29 public and private companies based on Mount Sinai technologies since 2016.

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Shekar Natarajan, EVP/Chief Supply Chain Officer, American Eagle Outfitters

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Natarajan led the charge in transforming the retailer’s supply chain into an agile structure that can compete with Amazon.

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Kyle Vogt, CEO/CTO, Cruise

San Francisco, California

As cofounder, CEO, and CTO of the autonomous vehicle technology company, Vogt continues to work in the trenches alongside developers and product managers.

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About the author

Jay Woodruff is a senior editor at Fast Company. After helping launch the quarterly DoubleTake, he joined Esquire and later held senior editorial positions at Entertainment Weekly and oversaw digital at Maxim, Blender and Stuff

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