Currently, there are only 7 Black CEOs at Fortune 500 companies. This is not a significant accomplishment, considering that only one percent of all Fortune 500 CEOs are black. However, it is worth mentioning that the list has increased by one. It used to be just 6 black CEOs until this year when Calvin Butler Jr was announced as CEO. The list includes Rosalind Brewer, Robert Reffkin, and David Rawlinson.
Now that we know how many black CEOs at Fortune 500, let’s look at who these top black CEOs are:
Here are the 7 Black CEOs of Fortune 500
Rosalind Brewer or Roz Brewer, the CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, is one of the two black women CEOs in the Fortune 500.
Brewer joined Walgreens Boots Alliance as a chief operating officer in March 2021. She also serves on its Board of Directors. Before joining Walgreens Boots Alliance, she served as group president and CEO of Starbucks from October 2017 to January 2021. She also served as president and CEO at Sam’s Club at Walmart Stores Inc.
Roz Brewer is the first African American woman to be named CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance and Sam’s Club.
Frank Clyburn is the CEO of International Flavors and Fragrances, a company that makes fragrances, food flavors, and cosmetic ingredients. He was appointed to this position in February 2022.
Prior to joining IFF, he was the Executive Vice President and President of Human Health at Merck & Co., where he had full responsibility for P&L. He was also responsible for building the world’s leading oncology business.
Marvin Ellison is one of the top black CEOs on our list. He is the chairman, president and CEO of Lowe’s Companies Inc. Previously, Ellison served in other ranks such as the CEO of J.C. Penney between August 2015 and May 2018. Prior to his career at JCPenney, he worked at U.S. Stores of The Home Depot Inc. from August 2008 to October 2014 as the Executive Vice President.
He holds a business administration degree from the University of Memphis and currently serves on the board of trustees. Ellison has an MBA from Emory University. He serves on the board of directors for FedEx Corporation.
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Thasunda Brown Duckett
Next on our list of Black CEOs of Fortune 500 is Thasunda Brown Duckett. Thasunda is the president and CEO of TIAA.
Thasunda Brown is the second black woman in the Fortune 500 to hold the title of CEO. She has been at TIAA since 2021. Prior to that, she served as Chief Executive Officer at Chase Consumer Banking. She was also the CEO of Chase Auto Finance and the National Retail Sales Executive for Chase Mortgage Banking.
Thasunda serves on the boards of successful companies including Nike and Brex Inc., among others. She holds a B.B.A. in finance and marketing from Houston University and an M.B.A. from Baylor University.
Robert Reffkin is the founder and CEO of an online real estate company he owns, Compass.
Robert co-founded Compass in 2012 with Ori Allon. His real estate business was inspired by her mother, a long-time real estate agent.
He holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from Columbia University. He has previously worked with McKinsey, and Goldman Sachs.
David Rawlinson is president and CEO of Qurate Retail, Inc., which operates seven leading retail brands including QVC, HSN, Frontgate, and others. He became the president and CEO on October 1, 2021.
Previously, David served as the CEO of NielsenIQ. Prior to that, he was the president of Grainger Global Online.
He serves on the boards of NielsenIQ and Discover Financial Services. Rawlings holds MBA from Havard Business School.
Calvin Butler Jr.
Last on our list is Calvin Butler Jr., who is also a new entrant to the list of the top black CEOs. Calvin became the president and CEO of Exelon in December 2022. Before that, he was the president and chief operating officer. He oversees the company’s six local electric and natural gas utilities.
He formerly served as the chairman of Gridwise Alliance. Butler served on the boards of M&T Bank Corporation and M&T Bank. He currently serves on the board of RLI Corp.
The Fortune 500 is a very exclusive club. It’s made up of the top corporations in America, and black CEOs make up 1 per cent of its membership. So it stands to reason that there are only 7 black executives who have been able to break through and join this elite group.
What do you make of these top black CEOs of Fortune 500?
There is a long way to go for black people in corporate America compared to their white counterparts. There is no even representation of black employees, investors, and executives in Fortune 500 firms. It’s unfortunate this is besides the drive for diversity and collaboration in the present C-suite and boardrooms.
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