On Top Profile: Deirdre Horgan

By: Erin Torrance

Named a 2010 Top 40 Under 40 recipient, Deirdre Horgan is a successful corporate businesswoman who gives back. Graduating from the University of Western Ontario with a BA in Economics, Horgan began work with The Boston Consulting Group. In 1998, she began her career with Indigo Books and Music Inc, being named Manager of Special Projects.

Within five years, Horgan had proved that she had what it took to get Indigo out of the red. She was named Executive Vice President, Chief Marketing Officer and began overseeing a team of 25, developing new strategies for branding and marketing Indigo and Chapters.

Horgan recognized the importance of an online business platform at a time when digital media was just beginning to enter the corporate world on a grand scale. Horgan led the development of the company’s online branding, launching mobile application Shortcovers and the Kobo, creating online community book clubs amongst customers and initiating what is now the largest book lover loyalty program in Canada: iRewards. More recently in spring 2011, Horgan introduced Plum Rewards, a practical and free alternative reward points loyalty program for customers who purchase books less frequently. Horgan studied the market and the needs of her customers to make Indigo Books & Music Inc. highly profitable.

In 2004, Horgan played an influential role in the founding of the Indigo Love of Reading Foundation, a program that promotes literacy through awareness campaigns, fundraising and grants. To this date, the Foundation has donated over $10 million to 100 elementary schools across Canada.

At 38 years old, Horgan’s innovative thinking and dedication have led her to career success after 14 years with Indigo. In an interview with Strategy Online, Horgan says that the best advice she has ever received came from Heather Reisman, CEO of Indigo Book & Music Inc; “You can have it all, but you can’t have it all at once,” Reisman told her.

“Life is a long journey,” Horgan continues, “and when you’re young and starting out in your career you feel like you need to get everything done by the time you’re 35, but you probably have another 15 or 20 years to your career.”

It seems that Horgan is just getting started.

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