Margaret Heffernan is an entrepreneur, Chief Executive and author. She was born in Texas, raised in Holland and educated at Cambridge University. She worked in BBC Radio for five years where she wrote, directed, produced and commissioned dozens of documentaries and dramas.
As a television producer, she made documentary films for Timewatch, Arena, and Newsnight. She was one of the producers of Out of the Doll’s House, the prize-winning documentary series about the history of women in the twentieth century.
She designed and executive produced 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.
Her third book, Willful Blindness was a finalist for the Financial Times/Goldman Sachs Best Business Book award. In 2014, the Financial Times named it one of its “best business books of the decade.” Her next book A Bigger Prize won the Transmission Prize. Her most recent book Beyond Measure : The Big Impact of Small Changes was published in 2015. Her TED talks have been seen by over 3 million people.
She is a Trustee of the London Library and sits on the Council of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art as well as one the boards of several private companies. Margaret blogs for the Huffington Post in the US and the UK and for Inc.com and mentors senior and Chief Executives.