JODY GERSON, 54
Chairman/CEO, Universal Music Publishing Group
Last Year’s Rank: 28
A year into her tenure, Gerson, named Billboard's 2015 Women in Music Executive of the Year, oversaw 20 new signings, including Ariana Grande and Shawn Mendes, but counts extending Adele's contract as her biggest achievement. "It was not easy," she recalls. The early Belieber also scored with the No. 1 success of Justin Bieber's Purpose. "I feel vindicated," she says. "I always knew he was going to make a comeback." One of Gerson's first gambits in her new role was the March signing of breakout singer-songwriter and Adele collaborator Tobias Jesso Jr. to a seven-figure deal. "That one was thrilling," she says. "It showed me that I could still identify and nurture talent, which were the things that got me this job."