69 - Imagine it Forward with Beth Comstock

As the author of Imagine it Forward, published in September 2018, member of Nike’s board of directors, trustee of The National Geographic Society, and former board president of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian National Design Museum, Beth Comstock has ample experience in all things business and human connection.

A graduate of the College of William and Mary, Beth received a biology degree while a member of the Omicron Beta chapter of Chi Omega.

Despite majoring in biology in college, Beth quickly realized that her passions would lead her to the art of storytelling. Instead of becoming a doctor, as she originally planned, she turned to the world of television journalism, beginning her career with local television in Virginia.

Fast forward a few years and Beth would become one of the most innovative women in business. As President of Integrated Media at NBC Universal, Beth oversaw TV advertising revenue and digital media efforts, including the early development of what is now a household name – Hulu. Prior to this, she held a series of roles in media at NBC, CBS, and CNN/Turner Broadcasting.

From 2008 to 2017, Beth spent nearly three decades at General Electric (GE). As Chief Marketing Officer and Vice Chair of Innovation, she led efforts for new growth, clean energy, new businesses, and enhancing brand value.

“What I learned about Silicon Valley is that its success does not arise from the genius of a few individuals but from a connected collective that integrates technologies, funding, and ideas from across the spectrum. That requires resisting the pull of rigid hierarchical order and capitalizing on the collective, chaotic, self-governing intelligence of groups and networks,” said Beth in a 2018 Forbes interview.

Beth Comstock’s 2018 release, Imagine it Forward

Her willingness to take risks and bounce back from adversity has paved her a path unlike others. Her experience in a wide range of industries and her innovative thinking has lead her to her roles today: author of the 2018 book titled Imagine it Forward and member of Nike’s board of directors.

“Beth’s leadership experience in marketing, branding, innovation, and digital and broadcast media for global brands makes her an outstanding addition to our board,” said Philip H. Knight, Nike founder and chairman. “We look forward to her contributions to expand Nike’s position as the world’s leading athletic brand and industry innovator.”

Beth has been named one of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women” by Forbes in both 2015 and 2016. In 2016 she was listed by UK-based company Richtopia at number 8 on the list of 100 Most Influential Chief Marketing Officers. Most recently, in 2018 she was named PRWeek’s “Top 20 Most Influential Communicators.”