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June 2, 2020

Only 4 Fortune 500 Companies Have Black CEOs — None of Them Are Women!

Black CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies
(From left to right) Marvin Ellison, President and CEO of Lowe's; Kenneth C. Frazier, CEO of Merck; Roger Ferguson, President & CEO of TIAA; and Jide Zeitlin, Chairman & CEO of Tapestry

There are 500 companies on the Fortune 500 list, but according to CNN, only 4 of them are African American. That's less than .01% and even worse, none of them are women. This is not necessarily anything new, but the number of Black male and female leaders at major corporations did seem to be increasing at one point. But times have changed again, and the lack of diversity in Corporate America's management positions is starting to show it's ugly head again.
With that being said, here are at least 4 CEOs that we can celebrate... For what it's worth.

#1 - Marvin Ellison, President & CEO of Lowe's: Formerly an executive at Home Depot and also the former CEO of J. C. Penney, Marvin became the top leader at Lowe's in July 2018. He has more than 30 years of leadership and operational experience in the retail industry, including expertise in managing a large network of stores and employees, as well as global logistics networks. Lowe's annual revenue is just shy of $68 billion.

#2 - Kenneth C. Frazier, CEO of Merck: He started out directing the company's defense against litigation over the anti-inflammatory drug Vioxx, but as the company's leader, he is now the second African-American to lead a major pharmaceutical company. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School, and has been CEO of the company since 2011. Merck's annual revenue is approximately $46.8 billion.

#3 - Roger Ferguson, President & CEO of TIAA: He is the top man at the country's leading provider of retirement services in the academic, research, medical, and cultural fields. A Harvard University graduate, he began his career as an attorney in New York City. TIAA's annual revenue is about $37.1 billion.

#4 - Jide Zeitlin, Chairman & CEO of Tapestry: Born in Nigeria, he went on to spend 20 years on Wall Street. Since September 2019, he has been the top man at Tapestry, which is best known for its luxury goods brands - Coach, Kate Spade New York, and Stuart Weitzman. Tapestry's annual revenue is about $5.7 billion.

The Fortune Global 500, compiled and published every year by Fortune Magazine, is an annual ranking of the top 500 corporations worldwide as measured by revenue. Combined, these companies generated enough revenue in 2019 to equal two-thirds of the entire economic output of the United States.