President/CEO of international, Sony Music Entertainment

For Edgar Berger, whose purview encompasses all business outside the United States, Sony Music International’s success stories for 2013 include One Direction (biggest-selling album of the year in the United Kingdom), Celine Dion (Canada), Maitre Gims (France) and Andrea Berg (Germany). And that’s without factoring in the overseas success of such stateside hitmakers as Justin Timberlake, Daft Punk, Miley Cyrus and P!nk, whose The Truth About Love made history as the first to claim honors as Australia’s biggest-selling album for two consecutive years. Among other acts generating notable buzz: Fedez (Italy), Abraham Mateo (Spain) and Caspar (Germany). In addition to entering new markets like Peru, the company acquired the Now! brand in Europe. Berger says that his—and the industry’s—biggest lesson of 2013 centered on “always trying to surprise consumers with how we bring music to them. The music industry keeps changing with regard to the retail landscape and how to market a record. And that involves a learning curve for the organization as well.” As for what’s in store for 2014, “we aspire to grow the business further,” he says, “broadening the global reach by opening new operations. With the ambition to beat last year, as always, what counts are hits and breakthroughs.”—Gail Mitchell