Mark Cohon  2015

Mark Cohon

Courtesy Photo

The Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS)/The JUNO Awards and MusiCounts have brought in the former commissioner of the Canadian Football League (CFL) to succeed Ed Robinson as their chairman of the board of directors. Mark Cohon, who stepped down from the CFL in January, will begin his appointment Sept. 29.

"His eight-year stewardship of the CFL was a remarkable run that saw the CFL’s business model transformed and its brand elevated," the CARAS-issued press release states. "Strong attendance, record television ratings, $2 billion in new stadiums, strengthened corporate partnerships, a national celebration of the 100th Grey Cup and a return to the nation’s capital were all part of the league’s stronger foundation under Cohon’s leadership."

"He has extensive experience and passion for raising the profile of brands and delivering successful results," CARAS president and CEO Allan Reid said. "Mark will bring a fresh perspective, and we look forward to his contributions to growing the CARAS, JUNO Awards and MusiCounts brands."

Cohon, 49, is the son of McDonald’s Canada founder George Cohon and wife Susan. Prior to joining the CFL in 2007, Mark was director of corporate and game development at Major League Baseball International, and director and group manager of international marketing at the National Basketball Association, managing director of NBA Europe, and vice-president of business development.

He was also the former chief officer for Petopia, a multi-channel retailer in the U.S., and former president and CEO of AudienceView, an event ticketing firm whose international clients during his leadership grew to include the Toronto Blue Jays, the new Wembley Stadium, Churchill Downs, and MGM Inc.

"We have much to be proud of in our Canadian music industry," said Cohon. "It is going to be exciting working with the Board, the CARAS leadership team and corporate, media and governmental partners to celebrate our remarkable artists and performers with Canadians across our nation."