Below I have compiled a list and summary of some of America’s top black executives. I want to show you all the progress that we, as a people, are making. Even though we might have to work harder than most to get the top positions, anything is possible through hard work and perseverance…
1. Kenneth I. Chenault – Chairman & CEO, American Express
Kenneth Chenault was born on June 2, 1951, in Mineola, New York. He worked as an attorney before transitioning into business, joining American Express in 1981. Chenault was named CEO of American Express in 2001, becoming one of the first African Americans to hold this position in a Fortune 500 company.
2. Steven A. Davis – Chairman & CEO, Bob Evans Farms
Steve Davis serves as chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Bob Evan Farms Inc. Before joining the company in 2006, Davis worked at Yum! Brands Inc., where he had been president of Long John Silver’s and A&W All-American Food Restaurants since 2002. Previously, Davis served in a variety of operations management and other executive positions in Yum! Brands’ Pizza Hut division, including senior vice president of concept development where his team introduced the Wing Street concept.
3. Rodney O’Neal – President & CEO , Delphi Automotive
Rodney O’Neal is chief executive officer and president of Delphi. As the head of Delphi, he leads more than 160,000 people and oversees 126 major manufacturing sites and 15 technical centers in 32 countries. Mr. O’Neal’s automotive industry experience began as a student in 1971 at General Motors Institute (now Kettering University). He later worked for GM, holding a number of engineering, production and manufacturing supervisory positions over the years in locations throughout the United States, Portugal and Canada.
4. Russell Stokes – President & CEO, GE Transportation
Russell Stokes is the President and Chief Executive Officer of GE Transportation, a global leader in rail, mining and marine industries with annual revenue of $5.9 billion and more than 12,000 employees globally. As a 16 year veteran of GE, Russell brings to this role a wide range of GE corporate and business unit leadership experience in addition to his deep industry, company and customer knowledge. Prior to his appointment as president & CEO of GE Transportation, Russell led global services for the business where he delivered a customer- and quality-driven business focused on analytics and reliability.
5. Frank Clark – Chairman and CEO, ComEd
Mr. Frank M. Clark, Jr., served as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer at Commonwealth Edison Company (also known as ComEd), an affiliate of Exelon Generation Company, LLC from November 28, 2005 to February 27, 2012. Mr. Clark served as the President of ComEd from October 2001 to 2005. He served as an Executive Vice President and Chief of Staff to the Exelon Corporation since August 1, 2004 and served as its Chairman from 2004 to 2005 and again since
6. Rosalind Brewer– President & CEO, Sam’s Club
Rosalind Gates Brewer, also known as Roz has been an Executive Vice President of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. since February 1, 2012. Ms. Brewer served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Sam’s Club Segment (Sam’s West, Inc) at Wal-Mart Stores Inc., since February 1, 2012. Ms. Brewer served as Chief Executive Officer of Warehouse Retail Chain and President of Warehouse Retail Chain of Sam’s West, Inc since February 2012. She served as an Executive Vice President
7. Darrin Hebert – Segment CIO, GE Commercial Finance
Darrin started his career at GE Capital Fleet Services and held several project leadership roles in his early career. In 1997 Hebert became the Manager, N.A. IT Services. He then went on to accept a role outside of IT, as VP, N.A. Invoice & Remittance Services. In 2000, Hebert joined GE Financial Assurance as VP of IT Foundations where he also achieved Master Black Belt Certification. In 2005, he joined GE Security as the IT Leader for Commercial & Corporate systems shortly thereafter he joined GE C&I as IT Director, Commercial Services.
8. Desiree Rogers – CEO, Johnson Publishing Company
Desirée Glapion Rogers (born June 16, 1959, in New Orleans, Louisiana) is an American business executive who is the Chief Executive Officer of Johnson Publishing Company. In November 2008 she was selected by Barack Obama’s office as the White House Social Secretary for the incoming administration, the first person of African-American descent to serve in this function. On February 26, 2010, the Chicago Sun-Times′ Lynn Sweet reported that she planned to step down. Rogers was replaced by Julianna Smoot, former chief of staff to the U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk. Smoot was the Obama presidential campaign chief fund-raiser. On August 10, 2010, Rogers was named CEO of Johnson Publishing Company.
9. Dean Baquet – Executive Editor, The New York Times
Dean P. Baquet is a Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist and the executive editor of The New York Times. He is the first African-American to serve as executive editor, the highest-ranking position in the paper’s newsroom. He studied English at Columbia University from 1974 to 1978, but dropped out to pursue journalism. After college, he reported for The Times-Picayune of New Orleans and then The Chicago Tribune. He joined The New York Times in April 1990 as a metropolitan reporter. In May 1992 he became special projects editor for the business desk and in January 1994 he held the same title but operated out of the executive editor’s office. In 2000, he joined the Los Angeles Times as managing editor and in 2005 became that newspaper’s editor. In 2007, he rejoined The New York Times, where he has held positions as managing editor, assistant managing editor, national editor, and Washington bureau chief.
10. Ursula Burns – Chairman & CEO, Xerox
Ursula M. Burns is chairman and chief executive officer of Xerox. With sales approaching $23 billion, Xerox is the world’s leading enterprise for business process and document management. When Burns joined Xerox in 1980 as a mechanical engineering summer intern, the company was the leader in the global photocopying market. As she later assumed roles in product development and planning, the company was securing its leadership position in digital document technologies. From 1992 through 2000, Burns, at a pivotal point in the company’s history, led several business teams including the company’s color business and office network printing business.
These 10 individuals are amazing individuals. However, they are just a fraction of incredible African-Americans that have made it in Corporate America. Unfortuneately, young minorities don’t here stories like these. Executive role models are non-existent in the most underdeveloped neighborhoods, allowing rappers, gang-bangers and drug deals to influence their minds. They deserve to see the other side of the spectrum so they too can understand that they have a chance to become something great. Please click here if you would like to view 90 more of these extraordinary people.