Paul Donaher is a global leader with a track record of growing and transforming organizations with innovation at their core. He combines strategic vision, operating excellence, and a creative mindset in how he works.
Paul’s leadership style centers around an unwavering mission to empower people to flourish as their authentic selves. He believes strongly that organizations achieve the best business outcomes by prioritizing collaboration, idea sharing, risk taking, and by embracing the notion of failure as a catalyst for growth.
Paul’s leadership experience spans industries: Technology, Consumer Goods, Hospitality, Art, Fashion and Retail among others. He has excelled in entrepreneurial and corporate settings alike. Paul has held senior leadership positions at Apple Inc., Sotheby’s Inc., Laird+Partners (a global branding firm), and Margeotes Fertitta Donaher & Weiss, a global marketing agency. He began his career at The Boston Consulting Group.
Paul was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. After graduating from Harvard Business School in 1981, Paul moved to New York City where he spent the greater part of his career. In 2015, Paul moved to California, working for Apple in both Los Angeles and Cupertino. In 2023, Paul relocated back to NYC to establish his consulting and leadership practice. In NYC, he not only pursues his professional passions but his personal ones as well: art, music, theater, fitness, and some of the most beautiful natural environments in the world.
As Senior Managing Director of Apple Marcom, Paul led business operations for Apple’s global marketing communications group with 1200 employees across 12 global regions. He fashioned an environment that ensured the flawless development and execution of Apple’s exceptional communications by creating an exceptional workplace.
As President and Partner at Laird + Partners, Paul played a key role in quadrupling the size of the firm which helped lead to the successful sale of L+P to MDC Partners. L+P’s clients included Gap, Hilton Hotels, PVH, Target, and Keurig/Dr. Pepper.
As Global Head of Strategy and Marketing at Sotheby’s, Paul and his team recommended groundbreaking strategies for fine art selling and consignment acquisition. They helped to achieve record-breaking auctions and special sales including the estates of The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Mr. and Mrs. John Hay Whitney, and Ambassador Pamela Harriman.
Paul is President of The Harvard Business School’s Pride Alumni Association with over 900 members. He also serves on the HBS Alumni Forum Council, which helps lead HBS Alumni Forums, peer support groups dedicated to developingh more self-aware, emotionally
intelligent, and successful leaders. Paul has served on the Board of Openhouse, San Francisco’s LGBTQ+ senior living and community center and on the Board of Directors of The Empire State Pride Agenda, New York’s leading advocacy organization for LGBTQ+ rights. Paul has also provided pro bono consulting to Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors whose mission is “to create thoughtful, effective philanthropy.