Alison Donald
Alison Donald

Co-president, Columbia Records U.K.

Shared Success
It's been little more than a year since Alison Donald left her post as managing director of Chrysalis Music, where she'd been for a decade, to join Columbia Records U.K.

My Mentor: "I'd have to say [Stiff Records founder] Dave Robinson. He taught me to trust my instinct and be fearless. [Sony Music U.K. Chairman and CEO] Nick Gatfield has been very supportive to me. He was a big reason why I came to Columbia. Also, my fairy godmother, [Attorney] Rosemary Carroll. I've known her for a very long time and she is always my emergency call on a personal and professional basis."

Initially appointed senior director of A&R, Donald made an immediate impact and was promoted to co-president of the label on May 1, sharing the top role with Mark Terry. Together, they have led the label to strong domestic success, scoring No. 1 albums with the Vaccines' Come of Age and Calvin Harris' 18 Months, which spawned six top three U.K. singles (two of them No. 1s), including his Billboard Hot 100 smash with Rihanna, "We Found Love." Columbia U.K. also led the way in breaking Rita Ora as a global star, landing the singer two chart-topping singles and a No. 1 debut album. Illustrating her widely praised A&R skills, Donald's first signing was Grammy Award winners the Civil Wars for a deal outside North America. Donald has equally high hopes for new Columbia artists Tom Odell, Lucy Rose, Chloe Howells, Little Nikki and Madeon. "Columbia Records is 125 years old," Donald says. "Our job is to continue building its legacy by signing the finest artists that we can find."