President & CEO, Alliance Data
Ed Heffernan joined Alliance Data in May 1998 as vice president of mergers and acquisitions. Prior to joining the company he held similar positions with First Data and Citicorp, and in corporate finance with CS First Boston (now Credit Suisse). In 2000, he assumed the position of executive vice president and chief financial officer for Alliance Data, leading the Company’s initial public offering in 2001. After assuming his role as president and CEO in 2009 in the midst of the Great Recession, under his leadership he helped the Company to not only weather the storm, but grow despite the macroeconomic downturn. Since going public, Alliance Data has ranked in the top 1% of companies in terms of shareholder return and the stock has gained over 1,800% since its IPO. Ed contends that the Company’s strong financial performance is the result of its unique business model, which offers a full suite of data-driven targeted marketing solutions. As he’s worked to grow the business, Ed also sowed the principle that Alliance Data must deliver beyond financial performance to maintain its reputation as a responsible corporate citizen. He is a champion of the Company’s corporate giving efforts. An active community advocate for children’s health and education, Ed serves on the board of directors for Children’s Medical Center. He is also a member of the board and Long-Range Planning Committee of the Shelton School, a Dallas private school for children with learning differences. Ed holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Economics from Wesleyan University, and an MBA from Columbia Business School. He is married with two children.