In 2000, her career advanced to senior vice president of CNN International. She made the jump to senior vice president of CNN.com in 2007, and served as its leader for about two years.
Accessible despite more responsibility
In her executive roles, Golden added more than 80 hours of programming for viewers in at least 200 countries, according to her resume, and opened production in Hong Kong and London.
She hired many of the news anchors seen on CNN International. One of them was Isha Sesay.
"She took a chance on me and I owe everything I have today to her," Sesay wrote in Golden's memorial website. "I will forever be grateful for her bravery, guidance and the great kindness she always showed me."
Under the load of greater responsibility, Golden still had an open ear for employee's concerns, Wadia said.
She not only mentored him in his career from her advanced position, but helped him make a major life decision as well.
When his heart was tugging at him to return to India to care for a family member in need, he said he looked to her to help him hash it out.
He followed his heart to Mumbai.
News was her passion
Golden had a deep passion for the news, and it showed.
"It was in her blood," said CNN producer Talia Kayali. "She was CNN."
Golden has called passion the most important aspect of being a journalist.
"You can learn TV web integration, you can learn technology, but it's the passion for news, that's something you need," she told the South Asian Journalists Association in a 2007 interview. "You need to know what you are doing is important and is making a difference."
Her management style gave other journalists the room and respect to expand their talents and encouraged them to grow.
"She built people," Kayali said, "particularly women at a time when there were fewer female leaders."
Battle with lymphoma
After leaving CNN, Golden completed an MBA program at Georgia State University. Shortly after graduating, she was diagnosed with lymphoma.
"Rena approached the disease and treatment as just one more hurdle to clear---just another bump in the road--- upset only by the fact that it would delay or scale back her work ambitions," husband Rob wrote in her memorial.
The treatment appeared to be successful, and she went back to work, this time for The Weather Channel.
The lymphoma reappeared, but Golden kept on living life to the fullest.
"You never felt she was sick. She was a fighter," said Kayali, who grew closer to Golden during the time of her illness. "She dealt with it head on, and she kept up with life."
She accepted her fate with grace, Rob Golden wrote.