Margaret Heffernan

CEO and Author

Margaret Heffernan is a businesswoman who now writes about business because nothing she read captured the reality of running companies.

She spent thirteen years working for one large corporation - the British Broadcasting Corporation - where she wrote, directed and produced radio plays and documentaries. Moving to television, she designed and executive produced plays and documentaries, including a thirteen part series on The French Revolution for the BBC and A&E. The series featured, among others, Alan Rickman, Alfred Molina, Janet Suzman, Simon Callow and Jim Broadbent and introduced both historian Simon Schama and playwright Peter Barnes to British television. She also produced music videos with Virgin Records and the London Chamber Orchestra to raise attention and funds for Unicef's Lebanese fund.

Leaving the BBC, she ran the trade association IPPA, which represented the interests of independent film and television producers and was once described by the Financial Times as "the most formidable lobbying organization in England."

In 1994, she returned to the United States where she worked on public affair campaigns in Massachusetts and with software companies trying to break into multimedia. She developed interactive multimedia products with Peter Lynch, Tom Peters, Standard & Poors and The Learning Company. She then joined CMGI where she ran, bought and sold leading Internet businesses, serving as Chief Executive Officer for InfoMation Corporation, ZineZone Corporation and iCAST Corporation. She was named one of the Internet’s Top 100 by Silicon Alley Reporter in 1999, one of the Top 25 by Streaming Media magazine and one of the Top 100 Media Executives by The Hollywood Reporter. Her "Tear Down the Wall" campaign against AOL won the 2001 Silver SABRE award for public relations.

In 2004, Margaret published The Naked Truth: A Working Woman's Manifesto about Business and What Really Matters (Jossey-Bass) and in 2007 she brought out How She Does It: How Female Entrepreneurs are Changing the Rules for Business Success. Her third book, Wilful Blindness: Why We Ignore the Obvious at our Peril (Simon & Schuster) was a finalist for the 2011 Financial Times best business book award. In 2014, she published A Bigger Prize (Simon & Schuster/Public Affairs), an examination of the costs of competition through out lives. She teaches at business schools and mentors Chief and senior executives around the world. Her TED talks have been seen by over two million people.