JOEL KLAIMAN, 47
Executive VP/GM, Columbia Records
Last Year’s Rank: 95
Klaiman, who oversees digital and promotions among other departments, spent 2015 tailoring rollouts for such blockbusters as One Direction‘s Made in the A.M. and Adele‘s 25, which together have sold 8.6 million-plus copies. His approach also brought attention to breakout talents George Ezra, Leon Bridges and Rachel Platten, whose “Fight Song” crowned the Adult Contemporary chart in September. Next: strategies for 2016 albums by Maxwell, John Legend and Haim.