Women Worth Watching 2015

Deirdre A. Leid

HARMAN’s SR. Director of Marketing Brings Her Very Best to Work and Life


web HARMAN_LiedDeirdre Leid boasts more than 15 years of experience in product marketing, communications, and business operations. After starting her corporate career at Texas Instruments, Deirdre served as senior product manager of new product development at Bose Corporation, advancing to the position of director of marketing and business operations. At Bose, Deirdre delivered overall improvement in the global launch process for new products, and was responsible for executing the worldwide launch for the largest product introduction in the history of the company’s professional system division.

Her work at HARMAN has earned many accolades and positive recognition. Deirdre and her team have been awarded five Consumer Electronics Innovation Awards, and her work on the flagship JBL Synchros S700 headphone, launched in spring of 2013, was highlighted in Fast Company.

“I got goose bumps launching my first product,” said Deirdre.

In 2013 and 2014, Deirdre mentored a team of MBA students at her alma mater Babson College through a challenge to develop a marketing strategy to bring HARMAN’s JBL products to the youth market. The team’s efforts were praised by HARMAN’s executive team, who selected one of the ideas to be pursued by the company.

“Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, that’s where the really good stuff happens.”

Prior to her corporate ventures, Deirdre served in the US Coast Guard from 1990 to 1995. At 25 years of age, she became one of the youngest commanding officers of a Coast Guard cutter, and one of very few women to hold the position. Deirdre was also involved in search-and-rescue efforts during the “perfect storm” of 1991, the notorious nor’easter that swept northward along the US Atlantic coast and claiming 13 lives.

Education: BSCE, United States Coast Guard Academy, MBA, Babson College

First Job: Officer, United States Coast Guard

What I’m Reading: “BOLD: How to Go Big, Create Wealth and Impact the World” by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler, Wired Magazine

Words I Live By: Your reputation is your most important asset.

The most important quality a woman leader should have is…


The career advice I’d give my former self:

Don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, that’s where the really good stuff happens.

The one thing I’d do differently in my career, knowing what I know now, is…

…find a mentor earlier in my career.

When I really need to focus on a project, I…

…put on my headphones and dig in.

My biggest career leap (and what I learned from it) was…

…leaving a former company after 15 years and realizing that while change is hard, seeing the world through a different lens is invaluable.

Being a woman in my profession has been…

…challenging, but I have found that by being confident and credible, I can be successful.

I’ve learned that failure is…

…not a negative thing as long as you learn from it and apply that learning when you try again the next time.

I maintain a healthy personal life by…

…being present for those who matter most.

I knew my present career was what I wanted to do when…

…I got goose bumps launching my first product.