Chief Marketing Officer

SiriusXM and Pandora’s Denise Karkos Shares the Importance of Putting ‘Another Single on the Board’

Have you heard the one about the girl in the bush? If not, you’re going to want to tune in to this episode for that story and some of the most practical and honest career advice we all need to hear right now.

I first had Denise Karkos on CMO Moves at the start of 2018 when she was the CMO of TD Ameritrade. In this episode, we talk about what led her to make the move after 13 years from financial services to the entertainment industry as CMO of Sirius XM and Pandora—including how she proactively put all the pieces in place for when the right opportunity came along.

This episode is also available on SpotifyiHeartRadio, and Apple Podcasts.

“I wanted to make a leap into sports or entertainment and started to put feelers out there to have the right contacts in that category. So, when the time came, when I was resolute that I was going to leave, it wasn't that tough to get on the radar of the right companies. This one rose to the top and it just couldn't be a better fit for me. I had no idea how big and complicated it was going to be, but it was just the challenge I was looking for.”

And although she joined the team in October 2019, she took her time to assess the business, team and capabilities before restructuring in a way that plays to teams’ strengths and better aligns two distinct brands: SiriusXM and Pandora (acquired in February 2019). And in a way where she was able to “keep all the players in the field” with no turnover.

“I’m really blessed for the fact that I was able to walk into an environment where I had top talent. I organized by capability, making sure that I was leaning into people's strengths and giving people the opportunity to actually work across both brands for their own career development.”

Denise shares how her team has innovated over the last few months to continue delivering top-tier programming all while working from home—from building top-notch in-home studios to quickly producing a campaign around the much-needed feeling of escapism.

She also drops plenty of career and leadership advice bombshells including how to be 100% authentic to yourself, how to remove negative, self-conscious thoughts from the equation, and the one thing you can do to rebuild your confidence after an inevitable slip-up.