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African-American CEOs

Gauri Waikar
The African-Americans in the United States have really carved a niche for themselves in the corporate world. There are many black men and women in the list of the highest-ranking executives in the US.
African-American people are generally considered to be courageous and highly determined. Perhaps, these qualities make them an obvious choice for the post of CEO. Here is a list of the CEOs from this community, who head some of the biggest companies in the world. These people have changed small-time companies into big economic giants.

Kenneth I. Chenault

Kenneth is a native of New York. He joined the American Express in 1981 as a strategic planner. Since then, his career graph has been shooting up. He became the President, Chief Operating Officer of the company, and ultimately the CEO in 2001 till 2017.
He also is a co-chairman of Business Roundtable and is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a board member at IBM. Presently, he is the chairman and managing director of General Catalyst Partners. He also serves on the boards of Airbnb and Facebook.

Clarence Otis Jr.

He was born on April 11, 1956 in Mississippi. In his career with Darden Restaurants, he has held many positions viz., Vice President, Treasurer, Senior Vice President - finance, Chief Financial Officer, and President - Smokey Bones Unit. Owing to his talent and hard-work, he became the CEO of Darden Restaurants in 2004.
He has worked and excelled in many fields such as law, investment banking, co-operative finance, and operations management. The experience in these diverse fields has won him the no.1 ranking in Fortune 500 company's African-American CEO list. He has been serving as a Director of Verizon since 2006.

Ronald A. Williams

He joined Aetna Inc. in 2001 and within 5 years, became the CEO of the company. Aetna Inc. is one of the biggest healthcare industries in the U.S. He serrved Aetna as CEO until November 2010.
In early life, he graduated in psychology from Roosevelt University. He has a master's degree from MIT Sloan School of Management. He serves on the board of directors of American Express, Boeing, and Johnson and Johnson. He is the current chairman and CEO of RW2 Enterprises, LLC.

Ursula M. Burns

Ursula has been the Chairman and CEO of Xerox corporation. She became the CEO in July, 2009. She first joined Xerox as a mechanical engineer in 1980. She has been with the company through thick and thin. She has done her bachelors in science and M.S. in mechanical engineering.
This super-talented lady is the first African-American lady in Fortune 500 company list. She was rated 34th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes in 2016. She is the chairman of VEON and has also served on board of Uber.

Rodney O'Neal

Rodney is serving as the CEO and President of Delphi Corp. since 2007. In his long career with Delphi, he has held many managerial positions. He also serves on the board on the Michigan Manufacturers Association and Woodward, Inc.

Steven A. Davis

He has been the CEO and Chairman of Bob Evan Farms since May 2006. He was also the Chairman of the Board of Bob Evan Farms. Today, he serves as a director of Albertsons, LLC, and Sonic Corp.

Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.

He has been the President and CEO of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, College Retirement Equities Fund since April 2008. He was formerly the head of financial services and chairman at Swiss Re America Holding Corp. He serves on the board of Alphabet Inc. since 2016.

Gary McCullough

Highly experienced Gary was the CEO and President of Career Education Corporation from 2007 to 2011. He is the Director of TransDigm Group Inc. since 2017.

Marvin Ellison

Marvin Ellison is the President and CEO of Lowe’s. This astute businessman Ellison was placed 19th in the Fortune 500 greatest leaders list in 2016.
The common myth that the 'whites are more intelligent than the blacks' has been proved wrong by these corporate elites. Their achievements speak volumes about their work.