Debbie Ellison

VMLY&R Commerce

One of only a handful of female Global Chief Digital Officers in industry, Debbie’s visionary leadership was first recognised in 2016 as a Woman of Tomorrow by Campaign/IPA. Debbie has since been named Industry Shaper by the global Women in Marketing Awards [2019], Top Ten Inspirational Leader in 2021/ HSBC Ethnicity Awards and recognised in Yahoo Finance EMpower Ethnic Minority Executive Role Model Lists 2021 and 2020.

Debbie’s is an inspirational story. Her resilience and empathetic leadership have led her from a council house background to industry influencer and double digit growth driver. Seeing tech as a powerful driver of positive change in society and business, Debbie sits on VMLY&R Commerce’s global growth committee and UK EXCO. Leveraging 20 years’ experience in digital commerce, she helps global brands activate new routes to market at speed. Shaping the industry with pioneering initiatives like The Flagship – fully immersive spaces in London and New York packed with future-facing technologies, allowing brands such as GSK, HSBC and Diageo to prototype and trial tech, influencing purchase decisions; and spearheading Social Commerce+, a commercially strategic and executional capability helping companies like TCL, Diageo and Microsoft Store accelerate growth by connecting commerce to social. Debbie is steadfast in transforming the industry and beyond. Now in its third year, she launched The Incubator, a work experience programme for students from diverse backgrounds, helps the business track 60 DE&I KPIs and is set to launch Inclusion Experience (IX), a consultancy helping businesses undergo a similar transformational change from 2022.