"Bubbly and blunt."
-- an unidentified advertising executive speaking to Advertising Age in August 2006.
Following are excerpts from stories about her:
From Crain's New York's "40 Under 40" in 2008; don't miss the video interview with her:
For as long as she can remember, Banikarim has been in motion -- fleeing Iran for Paris with her family after the Islamic Revolution in 1979, and living in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California before settling in New York by way of Buenos Aires.
The experience of adapting to different cultures was part of what prepared her to become the first marketing chief at Hispanic media giant Univision Communictions.
"Being a good marketer takes curiosity, empathy and the willingness to take risks,'' says Banikarim, who also speaks French, Spanish and Farsi. "Moving a lot -- making new friends being in new situations, being thrown into risk -- you had to have those things."
From Flooring the Consumer: Brite '08 in March 2008:
Banikarim joined Univision in 2002 just as the Spanish-language network first experienced slow growth. So, she brought in a more consultative and strategic approach. She hired account planners to talk about consumer insights and connect emotionally and MBAs to analyze. She decided that marketing would run programming and sell emotion, using a new format for its 2007 Upfront Event for selling programming to advertisers titled "I heart Univision." The format included consumer generated media with testimonials and user-generated content.
From her New York Times wedding announcement in March 1997:
Banikarim left Iran with her family when she was a young girl, moving first to Paris, then to San Francisco, and later to London. Banikarim's sister, Susie, says she was always energetic, artistic and precocious. In Paris, she was drinking espresso and reading the existentialists at 12. Now, she is so esthetically particular that even her paper napkins come from the Museum of Modern Art.
''She is a monsoon of a life force,'' said Mary Jane Brennan, a friend. ''When we would go out, people used to think she was Indira Gandhi. Then, if she wore sunglasses and dressed up, they thought she was Madonna. She has this mystique about her.''
From the Daily Beast's "Buzz Board," Banikarim wrote in July 2009:
As a marketer it's all about being current. One great idea from Tom Kelley's book The Ten Faces of Innovation is the "reverse mentor" (in chapter 3: cross pollinator). Get someone younger to keep you up to speed on all things Twitter, disqus and friendfeed. Tom offered to lend me his reverse mentor—but I need my own! WANTED: Twenty-something tech-savvy mentor to keep me current.
From a Univision press release, announcing her promotion to chief marketing officer in June 2005:
"Maryam's entrepreneurial spirit and proven success in developing and implemeting strategic marketing initiatives will be a tremendous asset to us. We are confident that she will take us to new heights in her new role."
Earlier: GCI said creating chief marketing officer job