Chicago’s 25 Most Powerful Women 2019 – Karen Sauder

Karen Sauder Chicago Most Powerful Women

Karen is vice president of sales at Google and serves as site lead for the company’s Chicago office. She joined Google in 2011 to launch the company’s consumer goods division, cultivating advertising clients in the food, beverage and restaurant businesses across the U.S. 

Prior to her role as vice president, Karen led Google’s largest global integrated marketing teams, consulting with agencies and customers on how to grow their businesses in a rapidly changing consumer landscape and working with key customers like Apple and Microsoft. She brings a wealth of experience advising C-suite executives and boards of directors on consumer marketing, go-to-market strategy, product innovation and data strategy. Karen has spearheaded several global marketing initiatives, including developing partnerships with third party brand measurement and improving brand safety policy and practices.  

Karen joined Google from FCB, a division of the Interpublic Group of Companies where she was the executive vice president and managing director. Karen was responsible for blue chip clients including SC Johnson, MillerCoors, Boeing, Dow, United States Postal Service, Motorola and Kraft among others.  Prior to FCB, Karen was president at Zipatoni, a boutique creative agency also owned by IPG. She began her career at Anheuser-Busch and Frito-Lay where she led teams in marketing, sales, wholesaler development and key accounts.  

Karen is passionate about community involvement and serves on multiple boards, including the World Business Chicago Board of Directors, the medical board of Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, where she is chairwoman of the marketing committee, and the board of Off The Street Club. She is a member of The Chicago Network and the Economic Club of Chicago. Karen has also been recognized for her professional contributions as Chicago Advertising Federation’s Woman of the Year (2009) and Ad Age’s “Women to Watch” (2010).   

Karen earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from The University of Missouri and is a graduate of the Executive Education programs at both Harvard Business School and Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business. A married mother of two teen boys, she is an avid athlete who can often be found on the soccer field, the golf course or in a pair of waders, casting a fly. 

See our complete list: Chicago’s 25 Most Powerful Women 2019