CSO Irene Hedges on Joining the Tixr C-Suite, Career Goals, Core Values, and Finding Balance

September 12, 2023

After a long tenure at one of the biggest brands in the world, we couldn’t be happier that Irene Hedges’ career path led her from corporate media titan to our rapidly-evolving ticketing enterprise.

If we could describe Irene Hedges in three words, they’d be: accomplished, poised, and humble.

A double-graduate of Harvard, Irene brings more than 15 years of leadership experience in the entertainment industry leading M&A activities and launching new ventures. In her new role as Tixr’s first-ever Chief Strategy Officer, she’s taken the helm of our strategic growth initiatives, including corporate development, new business verticals, and international expansion efforts.

She also happens to be a mom of two.

Here Irene discusses what attracted her to Tixr, her biggest strengths, the values that guide her, and what keeps her balanced. She also gives us a glimpse into a little teenage rebellion that led to her first live event experience.

You had an incredible run at Warner Bros. before joining us at Tixr. What kept you there for so long and what professional goals led you here?

Before Tixr, I worked at Warner Bros. for 16 years in the Corporate Business Development and Strategy group, focusing on executing M&A transactions and creating strategic growth opportunities.

In a variety of leadership roles there, I had unique opportunities to launch new ventures across the company’s business units, including theatrical and television, brands and franchises, video games, themed entertainment, consumer products, and retail.

I loved the camaraderie of my team and the excitement of working with world-famous IP like Harry Potter and Batman, but I was longing for a smaller, more entrepreneurial company with a faster pace and greater growth potential.

Through my interviews at Tixr, it quickly became clear that this role would check all of my boxes – and then some! I’m most looking forward to executing game-changing deals to take Tixr to the next level of growth.

Coming from such a large corporate environment, what attracted you to a growth-stage company like Tixr?

I was searching for an opportunity to have a major impact — and huge upside potential — and accordingly, so much excites me about Tixr.

Here, I’m already leveraging my skills in corporate development in a completely new, exciting, fast-paced environment, and I’m excited to continue learning from and collaborating with all of my amazing new colleagues.

Everyone I met through my interviews and since I’ve started is incredibly smart, dynamic, interesting, and passionate about what we’re building at Tixr. I’m thrilled to have the privilege to work with the team, but I’m also looking forward to just hanging out together and getting to know everyone as individuals.

I’m also incredibly excited about our mission to constantly pursue innovation and deliver the best experience for fans. Tixr’s values are aligned across product, mission, and culture, and I can’t wait to help build and grow that experience.

Now that you’ve gotten your feet wet at Tixr, how do you see your strengths complementing the rest of the C-Suite?

My biggest strengths include my hard skills — from negotiations to valuation to strategic analysis — as well as soft skills, such as mentorship, leadership, and culture development.

With Robert Davari (CEO) and Patrick Stavro (CTO) continuing their inspired leadership of the company and Patrick Bradley (CRO) spearheading partnerships, I think my skills round out the executive team to be fully prepared for — and driving toward — the next stage of growth.

What are your core values? How do they show up in your work and personal life?

I’m the proud mother of two sons, Theo (12) and Henry (9).

In our family, we have a “Hedges Family Code of Conduct” which is taped to our fridge and revisited regularly. It has 10 core tenets, but the first four are:

  • We are kind, respectful, and polite.
  • We tell the truth.
  • We always try our best.
  • We try hard things and we don’t give up.

These summarize the core values that are most important to me, both in work and in my personal life.

Although I’m certainly not perfect, I try every day to uphold them, even when my kids might be driving me crazy!

What role has mentorship played in your career? Has having a mentor impacted your career trajectory?

I’ve been incredibly lucky to have several important mentors who’ve helped shape the direction of my career.

I have one mentor in particular from my time at Warner Bros. He advised me on major decisions, advocated on my behalf, helped me navigate complicated situations, and at the end of the day, was and continues to be an amazing resource and friend.

I love to pay it forward and have also personally been a mentor to many junior colleagues, which I find very fulfilling.

How do you find balance in your life as a working mom and senior leader? What are your non-negotiables when it comes to family?

As a working mother, balance can be a challenging and at times fleeting goal, but a few things have been very helpful.

First, I focus on being present.

When I’m at work, I find the intellectual challenges and fast pace to be incredibly motivating and rewarding. At home, I cherish family dinners, movie nights (we just watched The Matrix and it blew our minds!), and hearing about their school days.

Second, I don’t hesitate to ask for help.

My parents live nearby and are very involved grandparents, and I have a community of other parents at school who are always willing to lend a hand.

Third — yoga!

What is your most memorable live event experience? Do you remember your first concert?

I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, raised by extremely strict Korean immigrant parents.

In my sophomore year of high school, I told my parents I was going to my friend’s house… and we drove downtown and went to Lollapalooza instead!

It was my first concert and I absolutely loved it — the music, the vibe, the people, the energy, everything. And fortunately, my parents were none the wiser.

Learn more about Irene joining the Tixr C-suite as CSO in Pollstar. Interested in joining the fast-growing Tixr team? Check out our open roles.