Craig S. Donohue

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Craig S. Donohue
Occupation Executive Chairman
Employer OCC
Location Chicago

Craig S. Donohue is executive chairman of OCC, the world's largest equity derivatives clearing organization.[1]

Donohue joined OCC as executive chairman in January 2014 with the goal of leading transformational change across the organization in light of OCC's designation as a Systemically Important Financial Market Utility(SIFMU) by the Financial Stability Oversight Council. He also took on the role of CEO in September 2016 to December 2018 and oversaw an overhaul of OCC's upper management team and transition to a larger and better capitalized organization.[2]


As executive chairman of OCC, Donohue facilitates board leadership and management oversight on behalf of the Board of Directors, while focusing on strategic issues and OCC's industry leadership role, including OCC's engagement with policymakers in Washington, D.C. He has oversight responsibilities for OCC's government relations, communications and internal audit functions. He also plays a leadership role in promoting the importance of the listed options market to the U.S. and global economy through the Options Industry Council.

Donohue joined OCC as executive chairman in January 2014 to lead transformational change across the organization after OCC's designation as a Systemically Important Financial Market Utility (SIFMU) by the Financial Stability Oversight Council. In 2016, OCC's Board of Directors asked him to take on the additional role of CEO for three years. As CEO, Donohue put together a three-part strategy for the organization to enhance OCC's resiliency to systemic risk; strengthen OCC's capital structure to ensure loss absorption and recovery capabilities, and reinvigorate OCC's leadership team to create a more engaged organization.

Donohue transitioned to the executive chairman role in December 2018, with John Davidson taking the post of CEO from his prior position as president and COO. [3] Before joining OCC, Donohue spent more than two decades in global financial markets, most recently as chief executive officer of CME Group from January 2004 until May 2012.[4] During that time, Donohue led the successful completion of more than $20 billion in mergers and acquisitions, including CME's historic merger with the Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT) in 2007 and the acquisition of both the New York Mercantile Exchange (Nymex) and the Commodity Exchange Inc. (COMEX) in 2008. [5]

Prior to the acquisition of CBOT, Donohue served as chief executive officer and as a board member of CME Holdings and CME since Jan. 1, 2004, when he replaced James J. McNulty.[6]The CME signed Donohue to a three-year contract extension in April 2006. In fiscal 2007, as CEO of the CME Group Inc., Donohue received compensation valued at $3.6 million, a 24-percent decrease from the previous year.

Donohue also was a trustee of the CME Trust, now a charitable organization, but once a safety net that provided financial protection to customers in the event a CME member firm became insolvent or unable to meet its obligations to its customers.

Donohue's previous CME positions include:

  • Executive vice president and chief administrative officer, Office of the CEO;
  • Managing director and chief administrative officer, CME Holdings (title was changed from managing director, Business Development and Corporate/Legal Affairs);
  • Senior vice president and general counsel;
  • Vice president of the Division of Market Regulation; and
  • Vice president and associate general counsel.[7]

Donohue grew up in Des Plaines, Illinois, the youngest of three children, and he managed his stepfather's pharmacy as a teenager. He was the first in his family to attend college, law school and graduate business school. [8]

In 2017, Markets Media recognized Donohue as one of the 10 Most Influential Individuals in Exchanges and Market Structure. [9] Additionally, in 2011 and 2016 he was named to Institutional Investor magazine’s Tech 50 list of top financial technologists. [10] [11]

In 2010, Donohue was selected as one of the world's 50 best-performing CEOs by the Harvard Business Review. He is also the subject of a Harvard Business School case study published in 2011 for his excellence in strategy formulation and execution. In 2009, Donohue was named to Institutional Investor magazine's Power 50 list of the World's Most Influential People in Finance and was also recognized as The International Executive of the Year by the Executives' Club of Chicago. [12] [13]

Donohue is an active leader in national and local civic and philanthropic efforts. He is a past board member and chairman of the Council for Economic Education. He is also a past board member and chairman of the Executives' Club of Chicago and previously served as a director of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.


Donohue holds a Masters of management degree from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, a Masters of Law degree in Financial Services Regulation from IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, a Juris Doctor degree from The John Marshall Law School, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and history from Drake University.[14]

Video Interviews

SEC Filings


  1. The Road Ahead: Donohue Leads OCC In A New And Pricier Era. John Lothian News.
  2. Options Clearing Corp shakes up senior management. Reuters.
  3. Biography of Craig S. Donohue. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  4. CME Group Announces Year-End Retirement of CEO Craig Donohue. CME Group.
  5. Biography of Craig S. Donohue. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  6. Donohue takes reins at CME. HighBeam Research.
  7. Craig S. Donohue. NNDB.
  8. Board Member Biographies- Craig S. Donohue. OCC.
  9. ICE’s Sprecher Tops Exchange Execs. MarketsMedia.
  10. No. 2 Craig Donohue. Institutional Investor.
  11. The 2016 Tech 50: Craig Donohue. Institutional Investor.
  12. Institutional Investor Power 50. Institutional Investor.
  13. International Executive of the Year Award. The Executives' Club of Chicago.
  14. Board Member Biographies- Craig S. Donohue. OCC.