Denise Donlon is one of Canada’s most successful broadcasters and corporate executives. Highly regarded as a principled leader and spirited communicator, she has navigated corporate culture with integrity, responsibility and an irrepressible passion to be a force for good.
Denise Donlon has operated on the frontlines of massive changes in the music industry, media and Canada’s cultural industries. As VP and GM of MuchMusic/MuchMoreMusic her mandate was ‘relevance’ during a time when music videos became a medium that would change pop music and popular culture forever. She became the first female president of Sony Music Canada, where she navigated the crisis in the music industry with the rise of Napster and the new digital revolution while overseeing the country’s marketing, sales and promotion of some of the world’s biggest artists, including Leonard Cohen, Celine Dion and Bruce Springsteen. She was Executive Director then General manager of CBC English Radio when the corporation absorbed funding cutbacks leading to mass layoffs and a shadow over the future of Canada’s national public broadcaster.
Her impressive and storied career has been highlighted by her passionate engagement with charitable organisations. She travelled to conflict zones like Sierra Leone and Northern Uganda doing documentary work on war affected women and children with War Child Canada, she was the event producer of the Clinton Global Initiative which raised over $21 million in one evening, and was a co-producer of Live 8, the Canadian international concert event. These initiatives and more are chronicled in her smart, inspiring and ‘wickedly funny’ 2017 memoir ‘Fearless As Possible (Under the circumstances)’, nominated for the Kobo Emerging Author Prize.
Denise creates an environment of innovation, celebration and success. As well as her membership in the Order of Canada, she is a Fellow of the Royal Conservatory of Music and has been inducted into the Broadcast Hall of Fame. She has been honoured with the Humanitarian Spirit Award and Trailblazer Award at Canadian Music Week, Woman of the Year from Canadian Woman in Communications, and Woman of Vision from Wired Women.