Mark Cohon

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Mark Cohon
Canadian Football League
Mark Cohon at a Toronto Argonauts game in 2009
Born: (1966-03-16) March 16, 1966 (age 57)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Career information
CollegeNorthwestern University
High schoolUpper Canada College
Career history
As administrator
2006–2012Ontario Science Centre (Chair)
2007–2015Canadian Football League (Comm.)
2015-presentCanadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (Chairman)

Mark Steven Cohon, OOnt MSM (born March 16, 1966) is a Canadian businessman who is the chairman of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS). He was also the 12th commissioner of the Canadian Football League. The son of McDonald's Canada founder George Cohon, he was appointed as commissioner in 2007 succeeding Tom Wright.[1]

Early life[edit]

Cohon was born in Chicago, Illinois, and moved to Toronto, Ontario when he was two years old. He holds both Canadian and American citizenship.


Cohon is a graduate of Upper Canada College and Northwestern University with a Bachelor of Science majoring in communication studies[2]

Sports marketing[edit]

Cohon worked at the NBA as head of international marketing and Major League Baseball International as head of corporate development. [3] before becoming President and chief executive officer of AudienceView Ticketing, a company which sells ticketing systems and services to sports, arts and entertainment events.

Ontario Science Centre chairman[edit]

In 2003, Cohon was appointed to the board of trustees of the Ontario Science Centre and then named Chair in 2006.[4] In 2013, he was made a Member of the Order of Ontario and in 2015, he was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal.[5][6]

CFL commissioner[edit]

In 2007 Mark Cohon succeeded Tom Wright as the Commissioner of the Canadian Football League. Under the direction of Cohon the CFL went through a remarkable renaissance. From record TV ratings to the building of $2 billion in new stadiums to the expansion back to Ottawa, to overseeing two labour agreements to the national celebration of the 100th Grey Cup and finally to the tripling of TV revenues with a new contract with Bell media, Cohon is credited in bringing back the CFL to prominence in Canada.

In August 2014, Cohon announced that he would not seek a third term as CFL Commissioner, announcing that he had completed everything he set out to accomplish and it was time to seek new challenges in his career.[7] He stepped down on January 9, 2015, and was replaced by board chairperson Jim Lawson on an interim basis.[8] Jeffrey Orridge was appointed the new CFL Commissioner effective April 29, 2015.[9]

Post CFL commissioner career[edit]

On September 29, 2015, Cohon was appointed as the new chairman of the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), a non-profit organization responsible for "preserv(ing) and enhanc(ing) the Canadian music industry and to contribute toward higher artistic and industry standards" as well as overseeing the annual Juno Awards for the Canadian music industry.[10] Given his success at transforming the CFL, the CARAS board wanted to bring in an experienced executive outside the music industry to transform the future of the Juno Awards.

Mark is also Chair of Toronto Global, an organization funded by three levels of government charged with promoting the Toronto region around the world and attracting foreign direct investment. The Toronto Global team led the RFP process for Amazon HQ2, making it to the short list of 20 North American cities and the only Canadian city on that list. Their Amazon HQ2 bid book was widely praised as a document that truly captured the excitement and growth that is happening in the Toronto region.

On the business front, Georgian Bay Spirit Co shows Mark as chairman and partner in that company. According to their website, they won best Vodka in the world at the San Francisco Spirits Competition and are producers of the best selling cooler in the LCBO, Georgian Bay Gin Smash.

Personal life[edit]

In 2002, Cohon married Suzanne Elizabeth Lucido.[3]


  1. ^ Matsumoto, Rick (March 28, 2007). "CFL to unveil new commissioner". The Toronto Star. Retrieved March 28, 2007.
  2. ^ "Top 40 under 40". The Globe and Mail. Archived from the original on April 27, 2007. Retrieved March 28, 2007.
  3. ^ a b "WEDDINGS/CELEBRATIONS; Suzanne Lucido, Mark Cohon". The New York Times. November 17, 2002. Retrieved March 28, 2007.
  4. ^ "Minister of Culture names Mark Cohon New Chair of the Ontario Science Centre". Ontario Ministry of Culture. Retrieved March 28, 2007.
  5. ^ "25 Appointees Named to Ontario's Highest Honour". Ministry of Citizenship and Immigration.
  6. ^ "Meritorious Service Decorations (Civil Division) Ceremony". The Governor General of Canada His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston. Governor General of Canada. Retrieved December 30, 2015.
  7. ^ "Cohon will not seek third term as CFL Commissioner". Archived from the original on August 23, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2014.
  8. ^ "Mark Cohon reign over as Jim Lawson assumes duties as interim CFL commissioner". Toronto Star. January 8, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  9. ^ "CFL names Jeffrey Orridge as new commissioner". Toronto Star. March 17, 2015. Retrieved March 17, 2015.
  10. ^ "Mark Cohon Appointed Chairman of the Board for CARAS, the JUNO Awards and MusiCounts". September 2015.

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