Alumni & Supporters

Sharon Rowlands

Sharon Rowlands

CEO of ReachLocal, a leading online marketing company that helps local businesses. Ms. Rowlands also serves on the board of directors for the Local Search Association as well as global software company Pegasystems (BA Hons History 1980)

Sharon Rowlands

Sharon Rowlands was named CEO of ReachLocal, a leading online marketing company that helps local businesses, in April 2014. Ms. Rowlands also serves on the board of directors for the Local Search Association as well as global software company Pegasystems. She has more than 20 years of experience leading multi-billion dollar companies that serve small- and medium-sized businesses, financial markets, and enterprise customers.

In August of 2016 Ms. Rowlands completed the sales of ReachLocal to Gannett. She continues to act as CEO of ReachLocal which operates as a separate reporting segment.

Underscoring her leadership expertise, she was named Customer Focused CEO of the Year in the 2016 CEO World Awards, won the Gold Stevie Award for Female Executive of the Year in 2016, and was also named Female CEO of the Year in the 2016 One Planet Awards.

As CEO of Altegrity from 2011 to 2013, she transformed the business from a holding company into three independent business units, each with its own growth strategy. Ms. Rowlands also served as CEO of Penton Media from 2008 to 2011, and prior to that she was with Thomson Financial, where she established the company as one of the most innovative partners to the global financial community. During her over ten-year tenure at Thomson, she held a variety of executive-level positions, including serving as President and CEO from 2005 to 2008.

Previously, Ms. Rowlands held executive leadership roles at Financial Times Information (now Interactive Data Pricing and Reference Data, Inc.). She was a Member of the Board of Directors of Constant Contact (Nasdaq: CTCT) and served on the Board of Directors for Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (Nasdaq: ADP) from 2008 to 2011. Ms. Rowlands received her Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of London and her Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Newcastle, Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

Ms. Rowlands is also passionate about helping other women succeed, serving as a mentor and establishing a women’s networking group dedicated to helping build strong female leaders.

Sharon Rowlands headshot