"It was humbling. I was really surprised," Evans told Automotive News. "[I'm] really proud for the marketing team at Hyundai. A lot of it is because of that and what the team has done. I'm thankful."
Evans was hired by Hyundai in 2015, soon after the brand struck a deal to be an official automotive sponsor of the National Football League. Since then, he has leveraged the Super Bowl platform to tell stories that go beyond typical product messaging to stress the brand's values. Shortly before this year's game, Evans said consumers expect companies to make a stand on advertising's biggest stage.
The 2018 Super Bowl saw the automaker put the spotlight on its nonprofit Hyundai Hope on Wheels, which is focused on finding a cure for pediatric cancer.
A year earlier, Hyundai's main spot virtually transported U.S. soldiers stationed in Poland to Houston's NRG Stadium and reunited them with their families through 360-degree video pods.
While the Super Bowl has been his playground lately, Evans built his career on digital marketing programs at companies such as LotLinx Inc., Dealer.com, Dealix.com and Subaru of America. Earlier, he worked as a field representative for Chrysler and managed a Chrysler-Jeep-Dodge dealership outside San Francisco.
Other auto execs who made the Forbes list of 50 were Cadillac's Deborah Wahl (No. 17), Audi's Dietmar Voggenreiter (19), Ferrari's Enrico Galliera (28), Toyota's Jack Hollis (33) and Ford's Joy Falotico (40).