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Meet Ad Age’s 40 Under 40

Ad Age honors the innovative, young marketing leaders who have made their mark in the client, agency and media realms — all before their 40th birthdays.

A perennial overachiever, Clara Shih cut her teeth in tech with stints at Google and Salesforce.com before co-founding her company, Hearsay Social, with a former Stanford classmate in 2009. With clients like Goldman Sachs, Farmers Insurance and Berkshire Hathaway signed in 2012, the company’s focus 24 on social-marketing and sales tools for companies with thousands of affiliates, such as insurance agents, who need to connect with local customers on their Facebook pages while still incorporating the brand message.

Hearsay grew to 100 employees from 40 last year, but 22Shih 24 intent on expanding into verticals like real estate. Notwithstanding the acquisition path 24 social-enterprise giants like Buddy Media and Wildfire have taken, 22Shih says she intends to keep Hearsay Social independent. “22 companies, no matter what they try and how they do it, can never innovate as fast as startups,” she said.

Did you know? Her pet peeve 24 not being at inbox zero.

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