Future of CX

Top 30 emerging leaders in Customer Success

Engati Team
last edited on
September 26, 2023
7-10 mins

Table of contents

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Emerging leaders in Customer Success

99% of the times companies don’t focus on customer success in the first place.

And the remaining 1% who focus on customer success, get it wrong in the 1st go.

So, here’s a list of top 30 influencers who are nailing the art of customer success.

Kristi Faltorusso

Kristi Faltorusso is a Customer Success Executive with experience in building, scaling, and transforming Customer Success organizations at hyper-growth B2B SaaS companies.

Over the past decade, She helped many companies redefine Customer Success resulting in increased retention, long-term revenue growth, and customer advocacy.

She is currently the Founder of CS Real Simple, a content experience, supporting the simplification of Customer Success for Executives, CS Leaders, and CSPs.


Alex Farmer

Alex Farmer is the Vice President of Customer Success at Cognite, a global industrial AI SaaS company supporting the full-scale digital transformation of heavy-asset industries around the world.

He is a Customer Success executive with experience in building post-sale teams to reduce churn and increase growth at high-growth B2B SaaS scale-ups.

Alex is also the Founder and CEO of Customer Success Excellence - the world's first awards event dedicated to the Customer Success profession.


profile photo of Lincoln Murphy

Lincoln Murphy

Lincoln Murphy is a Growth Consultant focused on customer-centric growth. For over a decade, he has helped hundreds of companies accelerate growth by optimizing the Customer Lifecycle, from customer acquisition to retention to account expansion and advocacy. 

He authored the Customer Success book for Wiley! He helps SaaS companies grow by taking full advantage of the SaaS business model and unique distribution methods this model allows. 


Elodie O’Rourke

Elodie O'Rourke is the Head of Customer Success EMEA at Financial Times.

Her strength as a leader allows her to consistently deliver excellent customer service and to always chase for the best solution by challenging and improving processes.

Her extensive knowledge of B2B workflow processes played a key role throughout the project, from Discovery; clarifying existing B2B workflow processes to inform the creation of personas, through prototyping and testing; providing valuable feedback to inform iterative development.

Peter Lyon

Peter Lyon is the VP of Customer Success at Poppulo, and the Co-Founder of Customer Success Network.

He’s currently focused on scaling SaaS businesses and Customer Success to the global market.

His experience allows him to see issues from a strategic perspective but communicate what needs to be done in a simple easy way that can be followed.

His passion is to enable teams to succeed in delivering successful outcomes to customers and to optimize operations for excellence.


Ziv Peled

Ziv Peled is the Chief Customer Officer at AppsFlyer. For Customer Success, he has built and led a global team of over 170 Customer Success Managers in 14 offices from pre sales, through onboarding, adoption, and advocacy from scratch.

In Customer Support, he is leading a global follow the sun support team of over 50 Customer Support Engineers.

At Sales Engineering he develops strategic sale operations to provide presale and post-sale services such as product demonstrations, solution expansion, and customer outreach to a local and international clientele

Mary Poppen

Mary Poppen is the Chief customer officer at Linkedin. She is a Board Advisor, an Executive Coach and is passionate about anything and everything related to a Customer!

She’s a Pioneer in the Customer Success and Experience space and was Named as one of the Top Customer Success Influencers. She’s completely focused on creating processes and tools to increase customer success at a scale.


Peter Armaly

Peter Armaly is the senior-level Marketing and Customer Success professional at Oracle with extensive experience working with wide-ranging clients of both SaaS and On-Premise engagement models. He develops programs that improve the skills of CSMs and that drive Customer Success thought leadership.

His goal is to advance the mission of Oracle while studying the industry to distill the findings into strategic positioning papers for the CS leadership team.

He’s a visionary leader in the Customer Success industry with solid contributions of quality content, has been listed on the A-List for Customer Success.


Tony Johnson

Tony Johnson is the Founder and Chief Customer Success Officer at Ignite your service Training and consulting.

He’s an expert on leading teams on the front line while developing service and guest experiences that inspire cultural shifts within large and complex organizations. 

He develops programs, processes, and accountability tools to inspire guest-centric thinking and believes in the power of people to deliver amazing service, care, and results.

Emilia D’anzica

Emilia D'Anzica is the Founder, CEO - Customer Success Consulting at GrowthMolecules.

She helps companies build scalable customer success and customer marketing programs and individuals grow their careers.

Emilia is one of the world’s leading customer success thought leaders and coaches.

From a strategic perspective, Emilia adds value to Customers’ success, from building to getting them well established, and ensuring they maximize revenue retention and growth. 


Vincent Manlapaz

Vincent Manlapaz is an author, writer, and speaker. He writes thought leadership articles and interviews leaders in the Customer Success space, sharing their stories and best practices. 

He has authored over 100 podcasts with Strikedeck and has written Customer Success for a Whole New World: Perspectives from CS Leaders, and Rediscovering Customer Success: A Mindset of Passion, Innovation, and Growth, The Service-Based Paradigm Mindset: Unlocking Value, Growth, and Transforming CS Organization, and more.

Lauren Costella

As VP of Customer Success, Lauren Costella brings extensive experience to her role.

She’s a change agent, a communicator, a leader, and a passionate champion for Customer Success in business; and holds numerous senior management and directorial positions at global SaaS companies, such as Searchmetrics and BrightEdge.

She also serves as a Board Member for the Customer Success Network, a thought leader and speaker in the Customer Success space, and publishes articles and information on her blog. 


Kia Puhm

Kia Puhm, a trailblazer in the field of Customer Success with 26 years’ experience in the tech industry, is the founder and CEO of DesiredPath. 

She has lead businesses through the transition to disciplined, customer-centric organizations resulting in increased revenue and customer loyalty. 

She has a Proven track record developing new business practices with verifiable success and possesses global customer experience and comprehensive business background in international and multi-cultural environments. 

She holds special expertise in Customer Experience Strategy & Management, SaaS Enterprise Software, and Business Development.

Andrew Marks

Andrew Marks is the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of SuccessHacker.

He has spent his career developing highly effective post-sales customer-focused organizations.

With a passion for customer success, his strategies are focused on high customer satisfaction, increased customer lifetime value, and the development of a loyal customer advocate base that results in increased revenue and decreased operational costs.

Over more than 20 years of experience, he has developed an approach to surface what customer success truly means by focusing on the strategy, people, process, and systems.


Sue Nabeth Moore

Sue is the co-founder of Success Chain and a passionate customer success leader in Europe.

She has initiated several events for the CS professionals to share and learn: Customer Success Europe, Engage Paris, Meetups in Paris, and Lisbon.

She has founded Success Track Enterprise which provides CS advisory and mentoring services. Sue is passionate about the human promise of the digital revolution, she is keen to play her part by concentrating on what is most important i.e. human progress and companies reaching and surpassing expected outcomes, resulting in success for customers and vendors alike.

Katie Stabler

Katie Stabler is the Founder and Director of Customer Experience at CULTIVATE Customer Experience by Design. 

She is the co-author of the Amazon No#1 best-seller ‘Customer Experience 2’. 

She is driven, passionate, and focused. She developed a recovery process to identify and remediate issues as well as develop a framework for customer journey design - bringing experiences to life through workshops and immersion sessions.

Tiffani Bova

For the impact she’s had on the Customer Success movement, it’s no surprise that Tiffani Bova was named one of the “Most Powerful and Influential Women in California.” Strategist, advisor, and influencer, Tiffani has worked with numerous companies, giving her a deep understanding of the inner workings of client engagement.

Her work can be found in publications like Forbes and HBR. She’s also the host of “What’s Next!”, a podcast that explores the future of business innovation and growth.

Donna Weber

Donna Weber is the President and Customer Onboarding Leader at Springboard Solutions. Donna is recognized as a Customer Success thought leader, strategist, and influencer.

She helps high-growth companies create customers for life. She works towards decreasing customer time to the first value, maximize customer lifetime value, increase product usage and adoption, and helps scale Customer Success.  



Elise Marengo

Elise Marengo Head of Customer Success at Userpilot.

She has been in the teaching industry and now stepping into the customer success network.

One of her biggest goals has been ensuring, no matter what, our customers feel supported, regardless of how many companies we have in our portfolios, each feels like they are the only one! While this sometimes appears to be an impossible feat, she believes with some strategy and patience, it can be done. Elise trusts that only one thing remains constant, be it at school or business that is-  Education


Aaron Thompson

Aaron Thompson is chief revenue officer at SuccessHACKER, the leading provider of Customer Success Enablement and Education.

He is a keynote speaker and educator in the Customer Success domain with over 20 years of experience helping enterprises power their growth from the customer asset.

Aaron has dedicated his career to helping companies improve retention rates, increase recurring revenue, and recoup customer acquisition costs.  

Maranda Dziekonski

Maranda Dziekonski is a Chief Customer Officer at Swiftly, Inc.

She is a ground-up builder with a passion for setting up the right teams, systems, processes, and overall infrastructure to take both the team and the company to the next level.

She has over 20 years of experience both working in and building world-class operations and extensive experience building and scaling teams in early and mid-stage startups.


Jeanne Bliss

Jeanne Bliss is a leadership and customer experience advisor and keynote speaker who motivates and guides the worlds’ most beloved companies to become unforgettable; earning growth and admiration through their elevated business practices and the humanity of their people.

She is the Founder and CEO of Customer Bliss and Co-founder of the Customer Experience Professionals Association.

As a strategic advisor, she’s guided over 20,000 leaders on using her 5-competency framework proven to achieve customer-driven growth. As a keynote speaker, 1,500 of the world’s largest companies have asked her to address their audiences on how to elevate their position with customers and in the marketplace. 


Allison Pickens

Allison has made her mark on the Customer Success community as an active thought leader and speaker. Her roots are in sales and entrepreneurship and she’s been named one of the Top 50 Sales Leaders.

She’s the host of The Customer Success Podcast and has been a guest on podcasts like The Official SaaStr Podcast and Customer Marketing Radio. A prolific writer, Allison has published articles that cover a wide variety of Customer Success strategies and best practices and frequently speaks at industry events.

Rick Adams

Rick Adams is a Business Outcomes & Customer Success expert author, trainer, consultant, speaker & business owner with over 25 years’ experience within the Technology industry, gathered from working in over 30 countries and having trained many thousands of technology professionals in both pre-and post-sales roles.

His passion lies in helping companies transform from being a supplier of products to becoming a trusted and essential business partner that provides realizable value in the form of measurable business outcomes.


Kristen Hayer

Kristen Hayer is the Founder & CEO of The Success League.

She believes Customer Success must be at the heart of any business and has been building and leading award-winning sales, marketing and customer success teams, primarily for technology organizations for over 20 years.

Which led her to build The Success League, whose aim is to help companies build great Customer Success teams. 

Adam Toporek

Adam Toporek is an internationally-recognized customer service expert, keynote speaker, and frontline trainer who helps organizations get results by thinking differently about customer service.

A third-generation entrepreneur with extensive experience in retail, wholesale, franchising, and small business, Adam understands the impact that customer experience can have on the bottom line.

He has appeared in over 150 media and is regularly cited as a top customer experience thought leader.  

Kate Nasser

Kate Nasser is the speaker and consultant at The People Skills Coach.

She delivers keynotes, coaching, workshops both offline and online, and consults organizations on how to deliver superior customer service through collaboration, engagement, and by leading change. Kate energizes everyone with inspiration and practical takeaways and activates behavioral change for business success.



Customer Service Leaders Profile photo of Nick Mehta

Nick Mehta

As the CEO of Gainsight, Nick is working with 700 “Gainsters” to create the customer success category that’s currently taking over the SaaS business model worldwide.

Gainsight has been the main flag-bearer of the customer success movement, organizing a global network of events under the Pulse banner. In addition, Nick and his colleagues wrote two books on customer success; Customer Success: How Innovative Companies Are Reducing Churn and Growing Recurring Revenue, and The Customer Success Economy: Why Every Aspect of Your Business Model Needs A Paradigm Shift.

Under Nick’s leadership, Gainsight has built an award-winning company culture. Gainsight has been recognized with numerous best workplace awards, including “Best Company Culture in 2018,” and “Best Company Outlook in 2019” by Comparably, Inc.

Bill Cushard

Bill Cushard is the Director of ServiceRocket. He is an author, blogger, and learning experience (LX) designer, with extensive experience building learning organizations in start-up and hyper-growth organizations. He is the co-author of the book, "Critical Skills All Learning Professionals Can Put to Use Today."

Bill has in-the-trenches experience building learning functions in hyper-growth organizations.

Catherine Blackmore

With over 20 years in the industry, Catherine is a powerhouse of Customer Success innovation.

Her thought leadership is fueled by real-life experiences which makes for valuable content on the structure and organization involved in running a first-class Customer Success strategy.

She’s been named one of the Top 50 Influencers in Customer Success and her published works include myriad ebooks, blogs, and white papers.


Who did we miss?

Customer success is indeed a fascinating field as its only secret pertains to proactivity. In short, customer success is a long-term strategy focusing on identifying and seizing the opportunities of helping customers achieve success.

The data facilitated by the tools of the digital age (such as predictive analytics and tech solutions) only comes as a support for this bigger purpose. 

We are hoping that these experts will help you get the best for your customers.

If there are leaders that we have missed feel free to reach out to us, so that we can help back you up with the best insights from them.


Note: The influencers in this list are selected based on their research work, social media influence & followership, achievements, and association with the innovation in the AI domain. This article is not intended to convey any form of ranking amongst the influencers listed here.

WOMEN ARE UNSTOPPABLE! Check out the latest list of top 50 leaders who have strived to make a significant change in shaping tomorrow.

Engati Team

At the forefront for digital customer experience, Engati helps you reimagine the customer journey through engagement-first solutions, spanning automation and live chat.

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