Corporate Hashtag Activism

Brands are trying to show solidarity with customers’ strongly held values without giving offense.
NYT > Business > DealBook



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Tencent raises $6 billion in largest Asian corporate debt deal this year

Chinese social media and gaming giant Tencent Holdings Ltd said on Thursday it raised $ 6 billion in a U.S. dollar bond sale – the largest debt deal by an Asian corporate in 2020.

Reuters: Technology News


Corporate America Isn’t Betting On a V-Shaped Recovery

While many investors have remained in stocks hoping for a quick economic recovery, corporate executives have indicated that they are less optimistic. Markets



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Fed Makes Initial Purchases in Its First Corporate Debt Buying Program

The Federal Reserve is buying corporate debt exchange traded funds starting Tuesday. The announcement alone had soothed the market.
NYT > Business > Economy


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Fed Makes Initial Purchases in Its First Corporate Debt Buying Program

The Federal Reserve is buying corporate debt exchange traded funds starting Tuesday. The announcement alone had soothed the market.
NYT > Business > Economy


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5.4.20 Corporate liability shields; Airline stocks hammered; Micro businesses; Cash-out refi or 401k withdrawal?

Employers fear liability from as they bring employees back into the office.

Virtual volunteering might be a great use of your time right now.

Watch the video

Warren Buffet has sold all shares in the major airlines. Their stocks are getting hit hard. Clark talks about the long-term projections for air travel.

Micro businesses are helping keep people afloat in difficult financial times. Starting a super-small side hustle might make sense for you.

Should you take cash out of your home or out of your retirement account? Neither is best. But if those are your choices be sure to listen to what Clark has to say.

Clark mentioned this link to Ticketmaster’s blog with their refund terms.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

The post 5.4.20 Corporate liability shields; Airline stocks hammered; Micro businesses; Cash-out refi or 401k withdrawal? appeared first on Clark Howard.


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5.4.20 Corporate liability shields; Airline stocks hammered; Micro businesses; Cash-out refi or 401k withdrawal?

Employers fear liability from as they bring employees back into the office.

Virtual volunteering might be a great use of your time right now.

Watch the video

Warren Buffet has sold all shares in the major airlines. Their stocks are getting hit hard. Clark talks about the long-term projections for air travel.

Micro businesses are helping keep people afloat in difficult financial times. Starting a super-small side hustle might make sense for you.

Should you take cash out of your home or out of your retirement account? Neither is best. But if those are your choices be sure to listen to what Clark has to say.

Clark mentioned this link to Ticketmaster’s blog with their refund terms.
Learn more about your ad choices. Visit

The post 5.4.20 Corporate liability shields; Airline stocks hammered; Micro businesses; Cash-out refi or 401k withdrawal? appeared first on Clark Howard.


Happy Feet Plus: Excellence in Health and Comfort Footwear Since 1985!

Pandemic Triggers a Wave of Distress, Bankruptcy in Corporate America

Stay-at-home orders and the shutdown of nonessential business have driven broad swaths of the economy into panic mode. Markets


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Pandemic Triggers a Wave of Distress, Bankruptcy in Corporate America

Stay-at-home orders and the shutdown of nonessential business have driven broad swaths of the economy into panic mode. Markets


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‘Fake news’ increases consumer demands for corporate action

New research finds that ‘fake news’ inspires consumers to demand corrective action from companies — even if the company is a victim of the fake news story. The study also supports the idea that most people feel they are better at detecting fake news than other people are.
Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily


Corporate Changes at YLF

YLF has recently reorganized our leadership structure and I am pleased and honoured to announce that I am the new CEO. Starting today, Angie and Greg will formally report to me. You will continue to receive the fashion and style content that you’re accustomed to, but I will definitely be making some changes around here. 

I joined the YLF team four years ago. During that time I have steadily climbed the corporate ladder. As an entry level associate, most of my job was about ensuring that Angie and Greg had the moral support they needed while they ran the business. Given my alertness, and, frankly, a very fierce disposition when it’s required, it wasn’t long before I was promoted to Head of Security. This was a formative role in my career thus far, and even now that I’m at an executive level, I will always think of myself as chief protector of the organization. 

It was when Greg started regular weekly travel to Salt Lake City that I really needed to step up. Angie spends several hours a day writing blog posts and participating on the YLF forum, but even with all the online interaction, things can get lonely. So I became Angie’s right hand. She counted on me for encouragement, inspiration and therapeutic support. I guess it was a natural transition for me to become her manager.

Which brings us to this leadership change. For some time I have felt that it would be best for the business if Angie and Greg spent more time here at the YLF corporate headquarters with me. Angie was way too distracted by shopping and outfit creation sessions with clients. Greg spent far too much time in our Utah office. So I put down my paw, and for the last five weeks they have been staying here with me almost all of the time. This episode made it clear that I was really the one making the big decisions. And as such, it was time for me to formally take over as CEO. 

As for the changes I’m making, they’re all about increasing business effectiveness. I’m instituting a mandatory playtime policy, because Greg and Angie are definitely more productive if they take regular breaks from normal tasks. I am also insisting on more regular walks, which are a very healthy way to conduct executive meetings, and also necessary for some… other things I need to do outside on a regular basis. I will also be tightening up security — there are way too many seagulls outside the apartment these days and I’m sure they’re involved in corporate espionage.


What lies ahead for me, you ask? Well, now that I have reached the pinnacle of business leadership I have my sights set on politics. I’m not sure exactly what it will be, but I’m sure that there’s a global leadership role in my future.



The Republican Corporate Bailout Is Obscene

Welfare for the rich will do nothing to assuage the coronavirus crash.
Politics – U.S. Political News, Opinion and Analysis


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Marriott to Furlough Thousands of Corporate Jobs

Marriott plans to furlough thousands of corporate employees at its headquarters and other cities around the world, continuing a massive shrinking of payroll this week in response to the coronavirus pandemic. US Business


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G.O.P. Aid Plan Has Corporate Tax Cuts and $1,200 Checks to Taxpayers

Countries across the globe are closing their borders, locking down cities and banning gatherings. In the United States, President Trump recommended limiting groups to fewer than 10 people.
NYT > Top Stories


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Meet The C-Suite Executive Powering Corporate IT For $21 Billion Cox Enterprises

Cox Enterprises

As senior vice president and chief information officer powering corporate IT for Atlanta-based Cox Enterprises, Richard Cox Jr. drives what has been described as “the next phase of the technology journey.”

In his C-suite role, he oversees corporate IT and business leadership on strategy, standards, and opportunities related to data analytics and business intelligence, development and support, security, and technical services for the $ 21 billion privately-held global conglomerate engaged in cable television and automotive services, among other areas. “I have always leveraged technology and innovation,” says Cox, a Liberty University graduate who holds an M.B.A. with a concentration in Management of Information Systems from Kennesaw State University. “It couldn’t have been a better fit because of what I considered to be my passion for technology and working for what I believe to be the best company here in Atlanta.”

The Atlanta native has been attracted to tech since playing and reassembling video games during his formative years. It was natural for him to hold a number of high-powered positions within the space, including his stints as vice president of customer experience for online travel service Orbitz Worldwide and president and COO for Jones International University, the first accredited online university based in Centennial, Colorado, (It closed in 2015). In 2013, he joined Cox Automotive handling several leadership roles over the years and playing a critical role in re-engineering operations and bolstering analytics at the Autotrader and Kelley Blue Book divisions.

In 2018, Cox was tapped by his former high school classmate, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms to serve in the position as Chief Operating Officer in charge of the city’s agencies and departments. During his 15-month stint as her right hand while on loan from Cox, he gained a crash course in crisis management during his effective handling of the city’s massive cyberdisruption—just before Super Bowl LIII.

Find out what makes him such a business dynamo.


How will you use your role to make Cox more competitive?

I think that this role will be incredibly important when you map out our direction and strategy over the next few years. There are three points, specifically, that I think are important. One is what I call the foundation, and it’s really focusing on the customer experience. That may sound, perhaps, like it’s not aligned with technology but at the end of the day, it’s really important that we create experiences that are both intuitive and really resonate with our employees and our customers. No. 2 is innovation. Whether it’s 5G, blockchain, AI, it is incumbent upon us to really understand the lay of the land as it relates to these innovative technologies and how we can make things easier for our employees and our customers. Last but not least, it’s going to be critically important that we leverage our technology to be able to scale the organization.

Our CEO, Alex Taylor, has very ambitious goals. We have a future focused on 2034. In order for us to reach those goals, it’s really going to be important for us to look at some acquisitions and to grow organically. When you look at both of those things, you have to have technology that not only leverages innovation but is also able to scale in big ways.

Data analytics will play a large role.

Absolutely. In fact, the analytics group, in particular, is near and dear to my heart. I led a team at a couple of other Cox businesses, and Kelley Blue Book. I had responsibility for the data science and the analytics teams across those two businesses. One of the big learnings that I gained out of there is just the power inherent in data. Whether it’s just continuous improvement or AI, the answer is in the data. The way we think about the future, the businesses that we get involved with and the technology that we leverage—they’re all built on top of the data.

With customization of content through streaming services and other platforms, how does Cox pivot to stay competitive and gain consumers’ attention?

I’ve read many times over the years about the demise of cable. But what’s interesting is that cable companies, to some degree, have an advantage as it relates to the internet of things…connected homes. Even as you look at the opportunity within the business space, I think those are the areas that we see an opportunity for not just growth, but significant innovation in terms of what our businesses will be in the future. We expect that these types of services will grow exponentially over the next few years. I think our cable company is really poised to, not just take advantage of the opportunity, but to bring incredible value to those businesses and consumers for years to come.



While you served as COO for the City of Atlanta, you faced one of the greatest challenges in your professional life — the largest ransomware attack ever on an American city. How did you manage this threat?

I’ll go so far to say, if not for that incident, I’m not sure I would have landed in the CIO role. I was forced to get really, really, smart and up to speed in terms of everything cyber. That being said, it started on my third day on the job. I got a call from the interim CIO saying, “Richard, no big deal, just want to give you a heads up but we have a small virus that we’re working on.” It was much more than a small virus. By the time I arrived at work, there were a few people waiting on me in my office, and I knew that was not good news. We identified pretty quickly that there was a malware attack. At that point, we didn’t know how pervasive the attack was across our networks and didn’t know the entry point.

We quickly organized the teams to be able to begin to identify how widespread things were. We identified a team to begin to map out manual processes. Although it was very early in the process, we knew pretty clearly that this was significant. Now, at that time, we didn’t know it would turn out to be the largest cyber incident for a municipality in US history but we knew that we would have to take action to be able to manually work through processes that in the past had been automated. The mayor and I were able to reach out and identify the best of the best in the space. Although a city doesn’t have the same resources as a private entity, what you do have is cooperation from the state and the federal level. We quickly engaged with Homeland Security. We quickly engaged with our local cyber experts. We were able to identify that it was, in fact, a malware attack.

The biggest decision that we had to make was would we pay the ransom? For a long time, it was not public that we didn’t pay. This was the call of the mayor, and she was adamant about the fact that we were not going to pay someone that stole from us. It ended up being one of the best decisions, and I say that for three reasons. No. 1 one, it ensured that we were ready and prepared for the Super Bowl. No. 2, it really created a focus on cyber that will serve the city for years to come. No. 3, the city was smart enough to have cyber insurance. With that, it was absolutely the right decision.

No one has been able to quantify what was saved. It’s almost infinite in terms of no data extracted or finances actually pilfered. The sky’s the limit in terms of how bad it could have been. The biggest thing—and I feel so good about it—is we had arguably the best-run Super Bowl that we have seen across the country. That is based on feedback from the NFL. We know definitively during that time period, a week leading up to the Super Bowl that scans of individuals trying to penetrate the network went up exponentially. So I’m absolutely convinced that it was the good work that we did in protecting the citizens of the city of Atlanta and millions of people that came during that Super Bowl period.

I imagine dealing with cyberattacks is now a part of the plan of most smart cities. In looking at the more expansive role that you played as COO, how will Atlanta’s application of digital technology serve as an exemplar for other cities in terms of connectivity for services and for quality of life?

I think about three things in terms of my engagement with the city. One is being a smart leader, one of the first things you do is find smart people to work with. Secondly, Atlanta is made up of companies that are really on the leading edge as it relates to everything needed for a smart city, and Cox is a part of that. In automotive, we are thinking through a world where there are autonomous vehicles. We are working with our local municipality to make sure that we’re thinking through infrastructure that will be needed in this new world. The third thing is we have here in Atlanta the North Avenue Corridor, which has been identified as a smart city quadrant where there are a number of tests that we’re doing, everything from smart lights to autonomous vehicle pilots. I think Atlanta, in particular, is really making sure that we are leading the way of how we think about our cities of the future.


You served as President and COO of Jones International University. How did that experience shape your leadership style?

To be a part of an organization that was using technology to really impact education in a major way hit on what I’m made of. What I mean by that is I am a mission-driven leader that wants to make sure I’m helping the world do better. That is what drives me. It really shaped me as a leader in terms of how to bring an organization together, leverage technology. If you think about something as simple as pushing out opportunities so that people can learn in a way that resonates for them, in a time-space that works for them, versus traditionally how classes have been held. Just that change of thinking, that paradigm shift, is something that I’ve taken with me in every job since then.

Now that you’re in the C-suite of a major, multibillion-dollar corporation. Give me your insight in terms of what needs to be done to expand the pipeline of African American managers and those within the C-suite?

There are three thoughts that come to mind there. I think one, corporations have to open up opportunities. A lot of times, it’s not necessarily a gap in skills. It’s not necessarily a lack of qualified candidates, it’s just giving people an opportunity. I think we all get comfortable in our respective environments. I have a saying, “We’re all captive to our environments.” That goes for the person that grew up on my side of town or the person that lives in the million-dollar home. So we just have to open up opportunities to people that don’t look like us. I think that is No. 1. No. 2, I would encourage young people to really double down on emerging technology. In fact, I think you would agree, the things that we saw as new and cutting edge don’t last as long as they used to. They become table stakes pretty quickly.

So to the extent that we can encourage young people to look at the new and cutting-edge technology, not to become experts but to become experts on learning. That is the new skill set. You [must] have a mindset in terms of continuous improvement. The third thing is an imperative. If you simply look at the demographics here in the U.S. and look at the rise of Latinos in particular, [you realize] we will be a more diverse country. I think we have to make sure that we create environments where people can be their authentic and best selves. I’m just grateful to work at Cox because it allows me to do just that.


Career | Black Enterprise


Goldman’s Playbook for More Diverse Corporate Boards

The bank said that it would only work on an I.P.O. if the client had at least one “diverse” board candidate, an attempt to increase women and minority directors.
NYT > Business > DealBook



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Black Professionals in Corporate America Hold 3.2% of Executive and Senior Manager Positions

Black Professionals in Corporate America

Corporate America is still oblivious to the challenges faced by black professionals.

A recent study conducted by the Center for Talent Innovation reveals that despite companies spending billions on diversity and inclusion, black professionals still face prejudice, a lack of support from managers, and a cycle of exclusion that keeps them from the C-suite.

In a statement released by Patricia Fili-Krushel, CEO of Center for Talent Innovation said, “This report sounds the alarm that, despite many good intentions, companies are falling short of creating equitable workplaces for black employees. We hope that business leaders will respond to these findings by making a serious assessment of their own workplaces and creating a comprehensive plan of action.”

She went on to say, “We are especially concerned about the lack of awareness we discovered among white professionals. This report gives business leaders a path for moving forward.”

Black professionals hold just 3.2% of all executive or senior leadership positions and less than 1% of all Fortune 500 CEO positions.

In the same press release, Skip Spriggs, president and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council, a research partner on the report said, “Study after study has shown that black executives perform as well as or better than other executives but are not advanced to the highest levels. The roadmap offered by CTI as a result of this study could make a difference because it is rooted in intentional, results-oriented actions designed to effect measurable, positive change.”

Key takeaways from the report:

  • Black professionals are nearly four times as likely as white professionals to say they have experienced racial prejudice at work (58% versus 15%). Regional differences are stark: 79% of black professionals in the Midwest say they have experienced racial prejudice at work, compared to 66% of black professionals in the West, 56% in the South, and 44% in the Northeast.
  • 43% of black executives have had colleagues use racially insensitive language in their presence.
  • Nearly 1in 5 (19%) black professionals feel that someone of their race/ethnicity would never achieve a top position at their companies, compared to only 3% of white professionals who feel this way.
  • Black women are less likely to have access to the same support and advocacy as white women. For instance, 35% of white women have individuals in their networks who have advocated for their ideas and skills, compared to 19% of black women.

This report also finds that talented black professionals are much more likely than white professionals to start entrepreneurial ventures. Black professionals are also more likely to find an environment of trust, respect, and a sense of belonging at smaller companies. 


Career | Black Enterprise


CEO Action’s Tim Ryan: Courageous Leadership Will Drive Corporate Diversity and Inclusion

Leaders from more than 300 organizations recently gathered in New York City to focus on driving diversity and inclusion within corporate America. As part of the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion—considered the largest consortium of chief executives driven by the commitment to advance that agenda in the workplace—corporate and organizational leaders, along with chief human resources and chief diversity officers, held rounds of candid conversations and strategic reviews as they grappled with one of today’s most complex and vital business issues.

Since its inception, CEO Action has grown to include the leadership of more than 800 corporations and organizations as representing a range of industries that signed diversity and inclusion commitment pledges to engage in the following:

  • Cultivation of environments that support open dialogue related to tough, thorny D&I conversations
  • Implementation and expansion of unconscious bias education
  • Sharing best practices as well as failed policies to foster diverse workplaces
  • Design and discussion of diversity and inclusion strategic plans with board of directors.

At last week’s closed-door session, attendees networked with peers, gained updates on programs like CEO Action’s Check Your Blind Spots Tour to explore individual unconscious bias within organizations and Day of Understanding to foster frank conversations on race, and participated in a series of roundtables to drive the advancement and execution of different ideas and approaches.

“When I was here the first year, it was mostly Fortune 500 and a few institutions,” maintains Cid Wilson, CEO of the Hispanic Association of Corporate Responsibility, better known as HACR. “Now, I’m seeing a breadth of participants that is much wider, and that’s something that needs to be addressed because we know diversity and inclusion drops off the smaller the company is. I think it’s reiterating that there’s still a lack of inclusion of women and people of color whether it’s a large corporation or non-profit or a medium-sized or small institution.”

Among those most pleased with the event’s attendance and outcome was Timothy Ryan, U.S. Chairman and Senior Partner of Big 4 accounting firm PwC and chair of the CEO Action Steering Committee “Every time we hold one on these meetings, we move the ball forward. I have heard from over a dozen CEOs that it has been impactful, and they feel more inspired than before. More importantly, I heard from several that they are going to reach out to more peers, “says Ryan, who developed the initiative in 2016 after the series of fatal police shootings of black men and the impact that those incidences had on PwC employees.

in an exclusive interview with BE Chief Content Officer Derek T. Dingle, Ryan discussed, among other topics, CEO Action’s future objectives and the leadership requirements for creating inclusive organizations.

With more than 800 signatories, is CEO Action on point related to its goals and timetables?

It’s only two years and four months old. When we launched CEO Action in the summer of 2017, the experts told us we’ll be lucky if we get 40 to 50 CEOs to voluntarily sign up and we’re at 800. I could not be more pleased where we are relative to numbers, but what I’m more pleased about is strategically what we’re trying to do to inspire the business community.

On our two-year anniversary in June, we added a fourth pledge and asked all CEOs to make that pledge in addition to the original three. We asked people to commit to do a diversity and inclusion strategic plan that’s prepared by managers and reviewed by the board. That was a big step, and I would anticipate that each subsequent year we will add more and more commitments generated by the steering committee and based on input from the broader community.

Diversity And Inclusion Must Be At Every level

In terms of adding the fourth pledge, you’re having the board place diversity and inclusion as part of the overall strategic agenda for a given company. With that said, we have found in our annual research on corporate governance that about 37% of S&P 500 companies still don’t have any African American representation. Will CEO Action have a focus on board diversity as part of its objectives?

There’s still a long way to go around in making the corporate world more inclusive at every level. To be clear, companies are not going to make CEO Action part of the board discussion but make diversity and inclusion part of the discussion. We had a panel in which we talked about the fourth commitment that had two CEOs’ perspectives and two board members’ perspectives. What we’re hoping for is that companies that follow through on this fourth commitment will develop a diversity and inclusion strategic plan that they review with the board. It should include everything from recruiting and retention to the development of high-capability talent and diversity at every level. So that was not only at the entry-level ranks but middle management and executive ranks So I would expect to have it at all levels and not just entry level, not just the board level but everything in between as well.

So would that also include CEO succession planning as well?

Yes. Every level. The strategy is to holistically go after the opportunity. So a good plan should cover succession planning at every level and that was what our panel talked about. Like the chairwoman of Denny’s said, diversity and inclusion is embedded in everything that they do. Clearly, that’s the best practice. So a management team and a board need to understand the demographics of what’s happening in our country, what’s happening with the aging population, what’s happening with the wealth gap, what’s happening with the fact that we won’t have the current majority in the next 25 years. Those are grounding business decisions and why diversity in succession planning is so important.

So one element that was different this year was the inclusion of CHROs and CDOs. Can you share with me the thinking behind that approach and the expected impact of that decision?

In each of the last two years, we had the largest gathering of CHROs and CEOs that we are aware of that ever took place. With the feedback that we got from both parties who have been convening separately in the last two years was this is good and powerful but it would also be powerful to bring us together. Why? Two fundamental reasons. One, it’s important for them to sit together real-time and talk about what action to take or what they could do differently. As a whole, you’re learning from each other. The second reason is that CEOs are busy people and by having their CHROs or CDOs there, they can make quicker actions within their organization.

Bringing Middle Management Into The Diversity Discussion

Among the feedback I gained was that the challenge for diversity and inclusion initiatives tend to rest with the middle management area and that group trying to gain a greater understanding of why it should be a part of the culture and a focus in their day-to-day work. Will CEO Action include middle managers in future sessions so they can gain that understanding?

When we started this two and a half years ago, we deliberately chose the words CEO in action and the reason we did that was the fact that CEOs set the tone of their organization. It’s not a challenge to me. It’s a big opportunity to unlock the business potential if you build a more inclusive workforce. So we chose CEO action and target CEOs because they are remarkable in getting things done.

One of the big challenges that CEOs have in making their organizations more inclusive is “the middle” and to your point and that was a big topic during table group discussions. Well, we’ve spent a lot of time talking about different strategies to engage the middle more. We hope to come out of this gathering with different ideas. Interestingly enough, one of our big focuses over the past year has been on days of understanding and helping companies to have discussions amongst its workers.

Speaking of such programs, how effective has the Checking Your Blind Spot Tour been in expanding that thrust?

A little over a year ago, we launched the Check Your Blind Spot Tour. We own a bus and it has been a remarkable mechanism to engage people on blind spots and unconscious biases. Over the course of the last year, we’ve reached 3 million people across the country visiting over 100 companies, college campuses, and events. We actually had a debriefing on lessons learned, what worked, what we can improve. Feedback has been tremendous. We definitely intend to continue to do it but we will make tweaks. There’s some things people liked more than others like the gamification in virtual reality. People love the mirror on the bus. You can reflect on who you are as a person but our goal continues to be giving participants a better experience,

So what are CEO Action’s next steps?

The next big move is in February 2020 with our Month of Understanding. If we reach 60 million people through the coalition, we will be incredibly proud. That will be a big bold move with the momentum we had with the Day of Understanding on Dec. 7 last year. That gets to you when you walk through the door of your company, what’s really going on in your mind when events happen in our public. What’s really on your mind when I come across challenges in the workplace? And those days of understanding or in this case a month of understanding are meant to help us understand each other better and create opportunities for us to be even stronger together. We’ll continue to get input and continue to look for ways to inspire the community. I think it’s the biggest opportunity we have to help our society and our companies realize their full potential.

You’ve talked about being on this journey. How has it changed you as a leader and PwC as an organization?

It continues to open my eyes every day and inspires me to do more every day. I had dozens of people reach out to me after the session. One CEO made the point that if you’re in the CEO role, you can’t be afraid to lose your job. She nailed it. That’s what I’ve come to understand. You have to do what you believe is right for your people and your customers. If that means taking some flack or being removed from the job then that’s okay. That’s how I’ve grown.

At PwC, we’re constantly getting better. We’re not perfect but we’re a hell of a lot better than we were three years ago. We have more understanding and have had more organic discussions around inclusivity than we ever had before. We have more programs than we’ve ever had before. We have better results than we’ve ever had before. But I can also sit here and say we have the opportunity to get even better.

So it’s about the development of courageous leadership and developing open environments?

Yes, I agree.


Career | Black Enterprise


How Yves Saint Laurent’s CEO Worked to Improve Corporate Culture

It seems obvious that clear organizational structure and healthy corporate culture would be keys to success in business. That doesn’t make either easy to implement.

Indeed, the CEO of French fashion house Yves Saint Laurent, Francesca Bellettini, came to realize the storied firm had one culture for customers and an altogether different one for dealing with each other. When she became CEO in 2013, she noticed that while retail store employees promptly greeted customers, workers at headquarters in Paris, including herself, stared into their phones and ignored each other. She says she learned to keep her phone in her pocket until she got to her desk.

It was a symbolic move, but she followed it up with a substantive one. When naming a new chief operating officer recently, she put the executive in charge of human resources, an unusual move. “We’ve learned we have to talk about employees as much as customers,” she said Tuesday during a panel on workplace culture at the Fortune Global Forum in Paris.

Belletini turned to organizational structure early in her tenure. “If you want to drive change you have to have the right structure,” she said. For example, regional presidents weren’t reporting to the CEO before her time, putting them below the management team on the org chart. She made them her direct reports, elevating their importance to be on par with functional leaders in Paris. She also made quick changes to the company’s supply chain. The organizational changes, she said, are “not boxes to you have to fill. They have to mean something.”

Bellettini instituted one other important cultural shift at YSL. At biannual all-company meetings, where store managers mingle with executives, there is no talk of KPIs, or key performance indicators, or sales targets. That, she said, is the stuff of everyday business. Instead, the meetings focus on values and mission.

More must-read stories from Fortune’s Global Forum:

—Why ‘data doomsday’ fears aren’t freaking everyone out
—The disruptive e-commerce revolution is benefitting big cosmetics brands
—How businesses are again pulling governments forward on climate change
When it comes to rare earths, the U.S. still depends on China
—CEOs could be our best hope for fighting climate change and income inequality
Get up to speed on your morning commute with Fortune’s CEO Daily newsletter.



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14 Black Veterans Who Now Sit on Corporate Boards

Before they were placed into board service to protect assets of shareholders at some of the largest publicly traded corporations on the S&P 500, a phalanx of BLACK ENTERPRISE Registry of Corporate Directors members chose military service to secure our nation. After their tours of duty, many of these black veterans applied their leadership and strategic skills to advance in corporate America while some decided to build distinguished careers in the Armed Forces. All, however, were drafted to serve on corporate boards because they consistently exhibited the right stuff when it came to management, decisiveness, and sound judgment.

As you would expect, most of these board members are involved in technology and aerospace and defense—sectors in which equipment and processes, in some cases, have been perfected for military and government use before being modified for consumers. Corporations in other industries have clearly benefitted from leaders who spent years developing detailed plans to ensure successful outcomes and at times have done so with literally lives on the line.

In honor of Veterans Day, we salute Registry members who have proudly represented America in this capacity. Using bio information, we share their military journey. You will be fascinated by this cadre of tops guns, military geniuses, and inspirational heroes—all bound by patriotism, sacrifice, and honor.

Gen. Colin Powell

The most prominent among them: Gen. Colin Powell, who rose to become the nation’s first African American Chairman of the Joint Chief of Staff—the pinnacle position in the Armed Forces—as well as the first African American to head the diplomatic corps as Secretary of State. The retired four-star Army general “found his calling” while attending the City College of New York, where he studied geology and joined the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC). Serving as the commander of his unit, he has often been quoted saying that the opportunity helped provide him with structure and direction. After graduating in 1958, Powell was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. In the 1960s, he served two tours of duty in Vietnam and has been awarded as many 11 military decorations in all.

Black Veterans

After receiving an M.B.A. at George Washington University and gaining a White House fellowship in 1972, he would serve four presidents, holding positions in the Defense Department and at the Pentagon, involved in the coordination of military campaigns over the course of three decades that included the bombing of Libya and both Iraq Wars.

Powell currently serves on the board of


Admiral Michelle Howard

Michelle Howard was promoted from vice admiral to admiral in 2014, making her the first female four-star admiral and first African American to hold this position.

Michelle_J_Howard, 4-star admiral and 38th vice chief of Naval operations

Michelle Howard

In addition, Howard was the first African American woman to serve as a three-star officer in the U.S. military and command a U.S. Navy ship. She was also the first female graduate of the Naval Academy to be promoted to flag officer. Her stellar accomplishments earned her a number of honors, including the NAACP Chairman’s Image Award, the French Legion of Honor, and the KPMG Inspire Greatness Award.

Howard was elected to the IBM board of directors in March 2019.

Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III

Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III is a retired U.S. Army General with nearly 41 years of military service and extensive operational experience, having commanded troops in combat at the 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-star levels. As the Commander of U.S. Central Command from March 2013 through March 2016, he was responsible for the 20-country Central Region that includes Iraq, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Egypt, and Saudi Arabia. He was also the Combined Forces Commander in Iraq and Syria.

Black Veterans

Austin is the Class of 1951 Leadership Chair for the Study of Leadership in the Department of Behavioral Sciences & Leadership at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York for the academic years 2016-17 and 2017-18. A graduate of the U.S. Military Academy with master’s degrees from Auburn University in Education and Webster University in Business Management, he holds numerous awards and decorations, including five Defense Distinguished Service Medals, the Silver Star, and the Legion of Merit.

Austin is a corporate director on the board of Nucor Corporation.

Frank M. Clark Jr.

Frank M. Clark Jr. has been president of the Chicago Board of Education since 2015 and served as chairman and CEO of Commonwealth Edison Co. (also known as ComEd), an affiliate of Exelon Corp., from 2005 to 2012. He has held various positions at the company, ranging from governmental and community affairs to distribution services and marketing. As such, he has cemented his reputation as one of the most versatile leaders in the energy sector.

Black Veterans

The only time he did not work for the company during his 45-year career was when he was drafted in 1967, shortly after being hired for a mailroom position. He served two years in the U.S. Army, including a year in Vietnam. Once his tour was over, Clark returned to work at ComEd and at the same time, went back to school to earn bachelor and law degrees from DePaul University.

Clark serves on the boards of Waste Management Inc. and Aetna Inc.

Major Gen. Augustus Leon Collins

From his bio on Huntington Ingalls Industries’ site: “Collins served in the U.S. Army and Mississippi National Guard for more than 35 years and held numerous command and staff positions, including command of the Mississippi National Guard’s 155th Brigade Combat Team, which deployed to Iraq and was responsible for security operations in the southern and western provinces.

Black Veterans

Collins was promoted to brigadier general in 2005 and is the first African-American to attain the rank of general in the history of the Mississippi National Guard. He retired in 2016 after serving five years as the adjutant general of both the Mississippi Army National Guard and the Mississippi Air National Guard.”

Collins serves on the board of Huntington Ingalls Industries Inc.

Major Gen. Elder Granger

Major Gen. Elder Granger is currently president and CEO of The 5Ps L.L.C., a Centennial, Colorado, healthcare, education, and leadership consulting organization. Prior to his retirement from the US Army in 2009, Granger served as the deputy director and program executive officer of the TRICARE Management Activity, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs), for close to a half-decade. In that role, he was a principal adviser to the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Health Affairs) on the department’s health plan policy and performance and oversaw the acquisition, operation, and integration of its managed care program within the Military Health System. Engaged in planning, budgeting, and execution of the $ 22.5 billion Defense Health Program, Granger managed a staff of 1,800 to ensure high-quality, accessible healthcare for 9.2 million uniformed service members, their families, retirees, and other stakeholders worldwide.

Prior to TRICARE, Granger led the largest U.S. and multinational battlefield health system while serving as Commander, Task Force 44th Medical Command and Command Surgeon for the Multinational Corps Iraq.

Black Veterans

A graduate of Arkansas State University in 1976 and the University of Arkansas School of Medicine in 1980, Granger began his military career commissioned through ROTC. Over 40 years, the military physician, board-certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine and the Board of Hematology and Oncology, rose through the ranks, gaining a series of surgical assignments and leadership roles. Among his numerous awards, decorations, and honors: The Defense Superior Service Medal, the Legion of Merit with three oak leaf clusters, the Bronze Star Medal, and the Meritorious Service Medal with four oak leaf clusters.

Granger currently serves on the board of DLH Holdings Co. He also sat on the board of Express Scripts Holding Co. from May 2015 until the company merged with Cigna in December 2018.

Anthony W. Hall Jr.

Anthony W. Hall Jr. has been known as the “people’s lawyer” in the H for decades. As City Attorney during Houston Mayor Lee Brown’s administration. from 1998 to 2004, and then played the role of chief administrative officer for the next mayor from 2004 to 2010. Since then, Hall, who has an economics degree from Howard University and a law degree from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University, handles cases through his private practice.

Black Veterans

Before discovering law and government, he served in the U.S. Army from 1967-1971, attaining the rank of captain. Hall’s military service included tours in Berlin and Vietnam in which he was awarded the Purple Heart and three Bronze Stars.

Hall serves on the board of Kinder Morgan Inc.

Gen. Lester L. Lyles

Besides having a mechanical engineering degree from Howard University and master’s in mechanical/nuclear engineering from when he attended school in the 1960s, Gen. Lester L. Lyles studied at Defense Systems Management College, the Armed Forces Staff College, the National War College, and the National and International Security Management Course at Harvard University during the 1980s and 1990s.

Lyles, who entered the U.S. Air Force in 1968 as a distinguished graduate of the Air Force ROTC program, also gained an array of key assignments, including Special Assistant and Aide-De-Camp to the Commander of Air Force Systems Command; Avionics Division Chief in the F-16 Systems Program Office; and Program Director of the Medium-Launch Vehicles Program and Space-Launch Systems offices in 1997 during the recovery from the Challenger Space Shuttle accident.

Black Veterans

The aforementioned experiences—just a few of the highlights on his extensive résumé—and training prepared Lyles for his biggest role: Commander, Air Force Materiel Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio in 2000. The command conducts research, development, test and evaluation, acquisition management services and logistics support for the Air Force. In 2012, the retired Lyles was bestowed the General Thomas D. White Award for distinguished service in national security, from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Lyles is a corporate director on the board of General Dynamics.

Leo S. Mackay Jr.

Leo S. Mackay, Jr. is senior vice president, Internal Audit, Ethics and Sustainability, and an elected corporate officer of Lockheed Martin Corp.

A 1983 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, he completed pilot training two years later and graduated at the top of his class. Selected to fly the F-14, he served as a member of Fighter Squadron 11 for three years, conducting operational deployments to the North Atlantic, Mediterranean, and Indian Oceans. He finished Naval Fighter Weapons School—known as “Top Gun”—and compiled 235 carrier landings and 1,000 hours in the F-14. In the 1988 operation, the highly decorated naval aviator was among the U.S. forces sent to protect civilian oil tankers targeted in the Iran/Iraq War.

Black Veterans

On the ground, his various assignments and promotions eventually led him to his role as Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs from 2001-2003, receiving the Exceptional Service Medal, the VA’s highest honor, for his service. As he made his ascent, Mackay earned a master’s degree, and a Ph.D., in public policy from Harvard University. He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Aspen Strategy Group.

Mackay serves on the board of Cognizant Tech Solutions Corp. 

Gen. Lloyd W. “Fig” Newton

Gen. Lloyd W. “Fig” Newton is the retired commander of Air Education and Training Command, headquartered at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas. As such, he is responsible for the recruiting, training, and education of Air Force personnel. Newton manages a massive operation: Air Education and Training Command consists of 13 bases, more than 43,000 active duty members and 14,000 civilians.

But as a young man, he made wartime history. Earning a degree in aviation education from Tennessee State University, he was commissioned as a distinguished graduate through ROTC in 1966. After completing pilot training at Williams Air Force Base, Arizona a year later and qualifying as a fighter pilot, he flew 269 combat missions from Da Nang Air Base in  South Vietnam, including 79 missions over North Vietnam, the dangerous stronghold of the Viet Cong. Due to his prowess, Newton became the first African American selected to join the elite U.S. Air Force Aerial Demonstration Squadron, the Thunderbirds, in November 1974.


Black Veterans

Upon retirement, he entered the corporate world and moved up the ranks to EVP, Military Engines at Pratt & Whitney, the global leader in designing, manufacturing, and servicing of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems, and industrial gas turbines.

Newton currently serves as a corporate director on the boards of L3 Technologies Inc. and Torchmark Corp.


Charles E. Phillips Jr.

As CEO of Infor Global Solutions, Charles E. Phillips Jr. has built the company into an enterprise software giant. Prior to Infor, he was president and board member of Oracle Corp. and during his seven-and-a-half-year tenure, it tripled in size and successfully acquired 70 companies. Before that experience, Phillips was a managing director in the Technology Group at Morgan Stanley, where he was recognized as one of BLACK ENTERPRISE‘s Most Powerful Blacks on Wall Street and an Institutional Investor All-Star for 10 consecutive years. Highly respected in business and economic circles, Phillips also served on the Obama administration’s Economic Recovery Board, led by Paul Volcker.

Black Veterans

Holding a degree in computer science from the U.S. Air Force Academy, a JD from New York Law School, and an M.B.A. from Hampton University, Phillips spent some of his formative career years as part of the military. He was a captain in the U.S. Marine Corps in the 2nd Battalion, 10th Marines artillery unit before his career ascent on Wall Street and Silicon Valley. In fact, in 2012 he was invited as the keynote speaker for the Marine Corps’ 237th Birthday Ball where he addressed his unit in which he served while stationed at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.

Phillips serves on the board of ViacomCBS Inc.

Gen. Larry Spencer

As the Air Force Association’s leading executive, Gen. Larry Spencer manages the group’s staff. He has oversight of the operations of AFA, AFA Veteran Benefits Association, and Air Force Memorial Foundation. He also holds the title of publisher of Air Force Magazine, the official journal for the association’s 94,000 members.

Spencer began his military career in the enlisted ranks and rose to become a four-star general. Receiving his degree in industrial engineering technology from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale. Spencer was then commissioned through Officer Training School in 1980 as a distinguished graduate. He has commanded a squadron, group, and wing, and served as Vice Commander of the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Center. He made military history as the first Air Force officer to serve as the Assistant Chief of Staff in the White House Military Office.

Black Veterans

Retiring as a four-star general, Spencer spent over 40 years in the Air Force. His last assignment was as the Vice Chief of Staff of the US Air Force, reaching the second highest-rank in that branch of the armed forces. He presided over the Air Staff and served as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Requirements Oversight Council and Deputy Advisory Working Group. In that role, he assisted the Air Force’s Chief of Staff with organizing, training, and equipping of 690,000 active-duty, Guard, Reserve, and civilian forces home and abroad.

Spencer serves as a corporate director for Whirlpool Corp.

Melvin T. Stith, Ph.D.

An alumnus of Norfolk State University and a member of its Board of Visitors for the past four years, Melvin T. Stith, Ph.D. will assume the role of interim president of his alma mater beginning Jan. 1, 2018. He is also Dean Emeritus, Martin J. Whitman School of Management, Syracuse University and Dean Emeritus, College of Business, Florida State University, respectively. Before climbing the academic ranks as a professional, the Vietnam veteran served in the U.S. Army Military Intelligence Command from 1968 to 1972, achieving the rank of captain.

Black Veterans


A native of Jarratt, Virginia, he received his sociology degree from NSU in 1968 and his M.B.A. and Ph.D. in marketing from the Whitman School in 1973 and 1978, respectively.

Stith serves on the board of AFLAC Inc.

Hansel E. Tookes II

Retired, Hansel E. Tookes II had served in various senior executive positions with tech, aerospace and defense conglomerate Raytheon. Joining the company at the turn of the century, he rose quickly, serving as chairman and CEO of Raytheon Aircraft Co. as well as Raytheon International. Before joining the company, he played vital leadership roles at industrial companies United Technologies and Pratt & Whitney.

Black Veterans

Before becoming a top gun in corporate America, Tookes was a Lieutenant Commander and Military Pilot in the U.S. Navy for seven years and later served as a Commercial Pilot with United Airlines. Moreover, he holds a degree in physics from Florida State University and a master’s in aeronautical systems from the University of West Florida. He also completed the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School. He served as a member of the Advisory Group to the Secretary of the Air Force and continues his membership of the National Academies – Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board. No longer in military service, Tookes still continues to serve his country.

Tookes is on the boards of NextEra Energy Inc., Corning Inc., Harris Corp.,  and Ryder System Inc.

— Additional reporting by Tiamari Whitted and Selena Hill


Editors’ Note: This story has been updated since it was originally published on November 11, 2018.

Career | Black Enterprise


Black Women in the Workplace Are Still Finding Their Footing on the Corporate Ladder

As educated and ambitious as black women in the workplace are, an alarming number of women working in corporate America are not matriculating from entry-level to managerial roles—and ultimately the C-suite.

That is what LeanIn.Org and McKinsey & Co. identify as the “Broken Rung” in the fifth year of the Women in the Workplace report on the state of women in corporate America. The Broken Rung refers to the first step up to manager as the biggest obstacle women face on the path to leadership.

From lower wages to microaggressions, black women can’t catch a break at work. Despite opposition, 29% of black women surveyed expressed interest in pursuing executive roles. While black women are represented in the numbers, their progress is minute in comparison to their non-white counterparts. Simply put, black women are still getting their footing on the corporate ladder.

“Repairing the broken rung is the key to creating significantly more leadership opportunities for women,” Kevin Sneader, global managing partner of McKinsey & Co. says. “Taking this single action can have an outsized impact. Over the next five years, this can add 1 million additional women managers.”

Key findings about black women in the workplace:

  • Women of color make up 4% of the C-suite. Only 1 in 25 women in the C-suite identify as women of color although women make up 21% of the C-suite.
  • “Only” women are having a worse experience than other women. About 1 in 5 women say they are often an “only,” and this experience is twice as likely for senior-level women and women in technical roles. These women are far more likely to experience microaggressions than men and women who have other women on their teams. Moreover, they are nearly twice as likely to have been sexually harassed at some point in their careers.
  • Microaggressions can have a macro impact if they go unchecked. From having their judgment challenged to being overlooked or being mistaken for someone at a more junior level, women are far more likely to experience this everyday discrimination. While 73% of women and 59% of men have experienced at least one type of microaggression, these everyday slights are more common for women.
  • Women’s experiences vary based on race and identity. As companies focus on their culture, it’s important to understand that not all women are having the same experience at work. Women of color, lesbian and bisexual women, and women with disabilities are having distinct—and by and large worse—experiences than women overall. Black women in the workplace and women with disabilities face more barriers to advancement and often receive less support than other groups of women and men. These findings reinforce how important it is for companies to understand the challenges different groups of women face and address them head-on.
  • Sponsorship can open doors—and employees need more of it. Fewer than half of the employees at the manager level or higher serve as sponsors, and only 1 in 3 employees say they have a sponsor—and this is equally true for women and men. While there is room for improvement, sponsorship is trending in the right direction—just a year ago, a quarter of employees reported having a sponsor.

Equality is the best policy

Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook Inc.’s chief operating officer and the founder of LeanIn.Org, weighed in on the report for the Wall Street Journal and says that the gender gap is bad business.

“No business in the world can succeed without hiring and promoting good employees, and when the numbers are this lopsided, many talented women are being overlooked.”

The report also reveals that “For every 100 men promoted or hired into manager roles, only 72 women are promoted or hired to manager. Largely because of this, men hold 62% of manager-level positions, while women hold just 38%. As a result, there are less women to advance to higher levels. So despite seeing hiring and promotion rates improve for senior women, women, as a whole, can never catch up.” The report is based on data and insights from 329 companies employing more than 13 million people and more than 68,500 employees in the nation.

In addition to those facts and figures, the wealth gap has widened for black women. And if the unique issues persist, it could take black women 106 years to receive equal pay.

So, what’s the solution? Fairness, unbiased training, clear paths to leadership, executive coaching, and sponsorship are some of them. Ultimately, companies have to work diligently to create fair and opportunistic work environments for all women.

Career | Black Enterprise


Women CEOs judged more harshly than men for corporate ethical failures

People are less likely to support an organization after an ethical failure if the business is led by a woman, according to a new study. However, organizations led by women endure less negative backlash for competence failures than those headed by men.
Consumer Behavior News — ScienceDaily


Tech Business Leader Linda Gooden: Diversity Improves Innovation and Competitiveness In Corporate America

When it comes to choosing corporate boards in which she will serve, Linda Gooden focuses on “the culture and core values of the organization, and the belief that I can make a meaningful contribution to the company’s mission, which in turn leads to increased shareholder value.”

The companies fortunate enough to gain her board service clearly benefit from an incisive corporate leader who has tackled a myriad of complex business issues during her nearly 40 years in the aerospace and defense industry. In her stewardship of Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Services, the 40,000-person operation produced more than $ 10 billion in revenues by providing integrated information technology solutions, systems, and services to support worldwide objectives of civil, defense, intelligence, and other government customers.

In her board role, Gooden clearly states the governing body’s mandate of oversight of a given company’s procedures, practices, risks, and ethics to protect shareholders’ interests while acting as a counterbalance for management. To that end, she believes term limits are essential to “allow boards to continuously refresh talent and gain fresh perspectives. After 10 years, I believe as board members and humans you tend to begin to identify more with management than the shareholders, which can compromise your independence and your oversight role as a director.”

Related: Former BET Chairman Debra Lee: Keep Pressure on Corporations To Expand Black Board Representation

The following are edited excerpts of the email response to questions from Black Enterprise from Gooden, a B.E. Registry member who serves on the boards of S&P 500 companies ADP, General Motors and The Home Depot.

With consistent and continuous data that had made the business case for diverse and inclusive boards as a driver of corporate innovation and profitability, why does there continue to be resistance from much of the leadership of public corporations to make their boards reflect America?

Based on my observation, I am not sure resistance is the correct characterization. I haven’t observed a real resistance to hire diverse directors. There are several issues such as ownership, institutionalism, and accessibility that have to be resolved before true diversity progresses at an acceptable rate. These issues are interconnected and prevail at the board level of most corporations, which can be a deterrent to increased diversity. Conventional wisdom suggests that diversity is growing slowly but steadily particularly with more women joining boards — but that the progress generally seems both insufficient and inconsistent.

I find that enlightened companies recognize board diversity is a business imperative. The demographics of the nation and the composition of the workforce are changing along many dimensions. The likely business stakeholders—customers, shareholders, and employees—are becoming increasingly diverse in terms of gender, ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientation, experiences, expectations, age, and preference. Diverse boards are better positioned to offer the skills, competencies, and insights to favorably position the business.

How do you believe your presence on a given board impacts that corporation’s approach to either workforce, management, supplier, or board diversity?

I feel my role is consistent with other members of public company boards of directors in that I offer my unique perspectives and ideas, based on my diversity and experience, to increase shareholder value by ensuring the business is focused on executing its strategy; identifying and evaluating significant opportunities and risks; and assessing CEO and key executive performance.

Related: Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald: We Must Expand Pipeline To Increase Black CEOs

I encourage diversity and inclusion as a business imperative to ensure the business has access to the broadest pool of perspectives, skill, and ideas to add value and enhance innovation and competitiveness of the organization. I have been fortunate in that the companies I work with see diversity as a core value and demonstrate it in their business decisions.

What strategies or approaches should be employed to ensure that not only do we get more blacks on boards but we identify those who will be vocal and effective in pushing the diversity agenda?

I advocate three strategies for increasing diversity on boards: First, we need to encourage more diversity in the C-suite, which is the pool of talent for selecting board members. Secondly, we should encourage candidates who are considering board service to get some level of board experience by working on not-for-profit boards. A tenure with a not-for-profit board allows prospective board candidates to gain board experience while working for a good cause. It is also a great way to build relationships and expand one’s network. Finally, I would suggest prospective board candidates work with a prominent search firm that places new directors, to identify boards that align with their experience and interest.

We can also influence and reshape Nominating and Governance Committees to develop board slates that reflect diverse backgrounds, experiences, expertise, skill sets, and viewpoints by actively seeking director candidates who bring diversity of age, gender, nationality, race, ethnicity, and sexual orientation.

What needs to be done to expand the pipeline of board-ready African American executives and entrepreneurs? How can young African American professionals position themselves for future board service?

The company’s culture, core values, and commitment to diversity and inclusion are essential to expanding the pipeline of diverse executives. Companies must live their values and practice both diversity and inclusion to ensure everyone has a fair opportunity to be both hired and promoted and that once hired, they feel like a valuable member of the organization.

As young African Americans, there are a number of things one can do to position for future board service: Understand the business strategy and mission; demonstrate strong, consistent performance on each opportunity; seek opportunities to continuously learn including attending company-sponsored training and pursuing advanced degrees; actively apply for and prepare for promotions; and join not-for-profit boards.

Click here to learn more about our 2019  Power in the Boardroom report.

Career | Black Enterprise


How Billionaire Alan Trefler’s Job In Restoration Prepared Him For Corporate Success | Forbes



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Has the Big Corporate Unwind Gone Too Far?

Emerson Electric is the latest industrial company to re-examine its structure, but separations don’t always work out for shareholders. Markets


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Ellen Pao Says Corporate Boards Live in a Bubble and Need More Diversity

Bloomberg Technology


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Vaping giant Juul is cutting staff in corporate restructuring as scrutiny intensifies

The company is eliminating some of it's 3,900 employees, slowing hiring and reviewing its current job postings, CNBC has confirmed.
Health and Science



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CORPORATE ANIMALS Trailer (2019) Demi Moore, Comedy Movie



The Secret To Building Corporate Reputation Is Integrity

“An organization’s character is founded upon its commitment to a strong set of values.”
Business – News, Opinion and Analysis


The NAACP Launched a Socially-Driven ETF to Foster Impact Investing and Corporate Diversity

Among the issues to be addressed at the 2019 NAACP annual convention, being held July 20-24 in Detroit, is what corporate America is doing to create real opportunities for minority firms. That question will be raised when leaders of the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization host a “CEO Panel,” in which they will ask corporate leaders how they approach diversity and inclusion within their specific corporate environments.

“We won’t move the needle on these issues without the commitment of corporate CEOs,” Marvin Owens, senior director of the NAACP Economic Department, tells BLACK ENTERPRISE. “As the markets continue to punish bad corporate behavior and reward good corporate behavior, CEOs have the necessary incentive from shareholders and investors to make a real impact. Diversity and inclusion become not only the right thing to do but also good business.”

The panel is also expected to encourage new investors to buy into the NAACP Minority Empowerment ETF (NYSE: NACP). The fund celebrates its one-year anniversary this month after the NAACP partnered with ETF issuer and investment manager Impact Shares to launch it in July 2018. The fund is the first of its type allowing investors to allocate money to companies that fit the NAACP’s vision of good corporate citizens. The fund invests in companies that are financially strong and promote racial and ethnic equity in all aspects of their business. It’s worth noting the NAACP is not actually traded on the stock exchange but has linked its iconic brand with a publicly-traded financial tool for corporate engagement.

BLACK ENTERPRISE caught up with Owens via email to get an update on the NACP fund.

BE: What is the fund’s overall objective for individual and corporate investors whether they are members of the NAACP or not?

Owens: A central objective of the fund is to provide a tool to align investment capital with the causes we care so deeply about. For more than two decades, the NAACP has used the corporate scorecard as a tool for measurement and accountability around the issues like blacks in corporate leadership, supplier diversity commitments, and pay equity. NACP is an innovation on this model in that it utilizes a similar strategy, but applies it to publicly traded companies on the Russell 1000. This tool provides investors who care deeply about issues of minority economic empowerment with a unique opportunity to align their capital with this commitment. It also offers market-driven incentives for companies to “up their game” related to diversity and inclusion.

Why did the NAACP create the ETF (exchange-traded fund)?

Innovation. Addressing the staggering racial wealth gap and persistent economic inequality in this country are central to the mission for the NAACP. One hundred and ten years of advocacy and activism has taught us that we have to match our vigilance with creativity. This ETF is an innovation on the work we’ve been doing all along to break down the systemic barriers blocking economic opportunity for black people in this country. We learned through the South Africa divestment campaigns of the 1980s that capital markets can be a potent force to drive social change. This ETF builds upon our history of advocacy and creates a new platform for corporate engagement.

What have been some of the fund’s top accomplishments since it started? 

One of the fund’s top accomplishments has been the creation of new opportunities for engagement. As part of our launch last year, we convened a closed-door symposium for chief diversity officers, chief investment officers, supplier diversity leads, as well as institutional investors to discuss challenges and best practices in making a real impact against the business goal of diversity and inclusion. While the discussion included companies with a history of partnering with the NAACP, the fund incentivized the participation of companies with no previous interaction with the NAACP. The fund has helped to reposition the NAACP as not only an advocate but a conveyor of critical accountability conversations related to minority economic empowerment.

What has been the fund’s performance since it was initially launched?   

For the one year ending July 12, NACP has returned 10.21%, which compares to 7.76% for the average Large Blend Mutual Fund and ETF in the United States. Large Blend represents the peer group as assigned by Morningstar. This ranks the fund in the 25% percentile. The fund has achieved a “High,” or “5 Globe” Morningstar Sustainability Rating, and is ranked in the 4th percentile globally. This rating is designed to identify companies that score highly on minority empowerment, as well as across a broad range of environmental, social, and governance issues.

Can you provide examples of the strategies being implemented to get more investments in the fund? 

We are actively working with public pension funds, family offices such as the Sarowitz Family L.L.C., and financial intermediaries. Additionally, we are pursuing a partnership with a large financial services firm that we hope to announce in the coming months.

How has the number of major U.S. companies in the fund increased over the last year? (For instance, we hear companies in the fund as of September 2018 included Amazon, Microsoft, JPMorgan Chase, Alphabet GOOG, and Johnson & Johnson. By late 2018, Apple, Exxon Mobil, Home Depot, and  TJX Cos. Inc. were among the largest companies added to the fund. Is this information correct?      

The position sizes in the fund is a function of minimizing tracking error to the broad equity market. However, you are correct that a number of companies entered and exited the fund at the beginning of the year. That was largely a result of improvements in business practices relative to our goals/screens.

(Owens noted around 15 companies have dropped from the fund, including Adient Inc., Danaher Corp., Huntsman Corp., Marathon Oil Corp., and Sprint Nextel Corp among them. Simultaneously nearly 20 companies have been added, including Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., Roper Technologies Inc.,  Kroger Co., Motorola Solutions Inc., PG&E Corp., and Yum! Brands Inc.)

How is the fund helping the NAACP boost its revenues? In what way is the NAACP using that money to convince blue-chip companies to do things like boost racial diversity on their boards or increase the number of black-owned minority suppliers they use?

The fund is still young, but the unique model of Impact Shares, our nonprofit fund manager, allows for the NAACP to receive fee income after expenses. By diversifying our funding, the NAACP will be able to build out new programs and efforts creating pathways for blacks to corporate boards; to actively engage in the persistent problem of the lack of access and opportunities for black asset managers; to use the power of the market to push for greater supplier diversity opportunities while simultaneously reducing our dependence on traditional philanthropic sources to fund our mission.

Recent reports have indicated affluent millennials will be armed with trillions of dollars over the next several years to sink money into investments reflecting their values and social beliefs. How is your fund positioned to attract this potentially lucrative demographic group as investors?

Depending on the research you read, upwards of 90% of millennials would like social considerations included in their portfolio. We are the only publicly available strategy whose sole social mission is to empower people of color. We believe this will resonant with all investors that believe in racial equity.

Why should other black nonprofit groups consider launching their own ETFs to help them better accomplish their missions of empowering the black community?

The model of dependence on philanthropic sources to fund our missions simply has to change. If we truly believe in long-term sustainability, then harnessing the power of the capital market has to be not only considered, but accomplished. Socially-driven ETFs provide a unique vehicle for corporate engagement, but a more equitable society continues to be the goal.

Money | Black Enterprise


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City ransomware attacks and huge payouts mean a once-private corporate problem has gone public

These attacks have given the public the opportunity to examine the problems associated with ransomware, where corporations — not obligated to disclose these attacks — have mostly handled them behind closed doors.
Small Business


The Crips Go Corporate and Make Move to Trademark Nipsey Hussle’s Slogan

They’ve been immortalized in rap music, movies, and the crime blotters of national newspapers. Now, the notorious Crips gang is making news for a legit business move. In effort to keep Nipsey Hussle’s legacy alive, both his brother Samiel “Blacc Sam” Asghedom and the Crips gang have filed documentation to trademark the slain rapper’s slogan, “The Marathon Continues.”

Born Ermias Joseph Asghedom, Nipsey was gunned down on March 31 in front of “The Marathon Clothing,” a smart store he opened in 2017 in South Los Angeles. The Grammy-nominated rapper also named his 2011 mixtape “The Marathon Continues.” However, he never obtained a trademark for the motto, according to The Blast.

Weeks after his death, the LA Crips filed a trademark for the slogan under their holding company, Crips LLC, on May 16 to continue Nipsey’s community work in the South Los Angeles area.  According to the filing, the trademark will be used in services geared toward gang prevention, community building, and creating youth sports programs. The application also mentions a documentary titled The Marathon Continues that is slated for release this summer along with entertainment services to be provided by celebrities and community organizers from both the Crips and the Bloods. Nipsey admitted to joining the Crips-affiliated set Rollin’ 60s when he was just 14. At the time of his death, the LA-born artist was actively involved in curbing street violence.

Despite their efforts, it appears that Nipsey’s brother may want to keep the slogan in the family. According to documents obtained by The Blast, Blacc Sam filed a separate trademark application on May 28 to lock down “The Marathon Continues” for entertainment services, music, and “charitable activities.”

“Neither application mentions the other one, but once U.S. Patent & Trademark officials notice the dual filings, they will begin to sort out who actually has a right to profit off the “The Marathon Continues.”

The Crips and Bloods registered as holding companies Crips LLC and Bloods LLC under the brand ‘Blood Cuzz’ns’ in 2018 in an attempt to “shine up a sullied reputation,” according to a press release. In recent years, they’ve taken part in organizing local community events.

“From banging to branding is par the course of cultural evolution. It’s right alongside the technology (ride sharing) that has given way for our 15-year-old daughters to jump in and out of cars everyday being driven by complete strangers and is definitely in stride with the government’s war on drugs (marijuana) that sent many of these guys away to prison for a very long time, that now is not only legal but also encouraged. With the brands cultural equity in place, it’s sure to set a trend and may soon become as American as apple pie, which is a definite game changer,” said Bryanna Jenkins, Chief Operating Officer for Blood Cuzz’ns in a press release.




Lifestyle | Black Enterprise


Lori Chennault, Georgia-Pacific Executive, Offers 5 Ways to Successfully Navigate a Corporate Career as a Black Woman

As the VP – IT, Consumer Products Group at Georgia-Pacific Group, Lori Chennault is an example of a black woman who found her way through the often-turbulent corporate career waters. At the 2019 Black Enterprise Women of Power Summit, Chennault shared her views on how black women can not only navigate corporate careers but how they can achieve success.

During the “An Honest Conversation About Gender in the Workplace,” a session sponsored by Georgia-Pacific and Koch Industries, Chennault, a wife of 22 years and mother of two children, offered these tips:

  • “There will be times when I have to ask for help to manage the priorities. And that is OK.”
  • “We spend so much energy on things we can’t control, and we lose sight on things we can control.”
  • “As you navigate, take time to look in the mirror and laugh at yourself. That’s the best thing—personal feedback, as well as seeking feedback.”
  • “Take time to stop and say, ‘What happened today? Were those good decisions? Did I get off-course?’ And if you get off-course, it’s OK. I haven’t met one perfect person yet.”
  • “Stop seeking titles. Take some risks and be passionate about learning to grow. When you step out there to take risks, do it with what’s in your toolbox. Find things that play to your strengths.”

Watch the entire video of the session below:

The post Lori Chennault, Georgia-Pacific Executive, Offers 5 Ways to Successfully Navigate a Corporate Career as a Black Woman appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise


Honored as Outstanding Corporate Sustainer

Atlanta – Kaiser Permanente received EarthShare Georgia’s 2019 Outstanding Corporate Sustainer Award for exceptional leadership in supporting EarthShare Georgia member groups – trusted environmental and conservation nonprofit organizations.

Kaiser Permanente was the first company to start an EarthShare Georgia workplace giving campaign and has been the presenting sponsor of EarthShare Georgia’s annual Earth Day events since 2006. The organization has also provided grants to help support its local member groups which, combined with employee payroll donations, has provided close to $ 2 million to support the environment.

“We are proud to support EarthShare Georgia because we know the tremendous impact that they make in protecting Georgia’s air, land and water,” said Jim Simpson, regional president for Kaiser Permanente of Georgia. “Above all, we know how vital their work is for the health of the communities we serve.”

EarthShare Georgia is working for the day when air, land and water are clean, abundant and healthy. Founded in 1992 by environmental nonprofit organizations to expand choice in workplace giving campaigns, and to provide an efficient and secure way to manage donations, EarthShare Georgia has raised more than $ 6 million on their behalf. These organizations work hard every day to address environmental health risks, restore natural habitats, protect wildlife, reduce the impacts of climate change and much more. For more information about EarthShare Georgia, please visit:

About Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 12.2 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. In Georgia, Kaiser Permanente provides and coordinates complete health care services for more than 220,000 members through 26 medical centers in metro Atlanta and Athens. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists, and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery, and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education, and the support of community health. For more information, visit or follow us on Twitter, or Facebook,

Main RSS Feed | KP Comms


Democrats Keep Rejecting Corporate PAC Money. But Is It Just for Show?

From former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, who is making a bid for the U.S. Senate, to presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren, the refrain du jour among 2020 Democratic presidential candidates seems to be a pledge to swear off donations from corporate political action committees (PACs). It’s a good sound bite to drop on the campaign trail: rejecting corporate and special interest money. But does it really matter on paper?

Steven Billet, who oversees a master’s program in legislative affairs at George Washington University, says candidates who refuse corporate PAC money are basically “giving the sleeves out of their vest.”

“They are giving up nothing because they wouldn’t have gotten much corporate PAC money,” Billet tells Fortune.

A corporate PAC, a type of PAC that raises money in the name of a company, can contribute up to $ 5,000 to a candidate’s campaign per election. To put this in perspective, an individual donor can donate up to $ 2,800 of personal money, and a couple can give up to $ 5,600. So, if a candidate refuses $ 5,000 from a corporate PAC, they could potentially get the same amount from a private donor.

“Corporate PAC contributions are not a big piece of the pie for major candidates,” says Andrew Mayersohn, a researcher at the Center for Responsive Politics. “There just aren’t enough corporate PACs out there to fund much of an eight-figure senate campaign, let alone a presidential campaign.”

And, according to Mayersohn, corporate PACs specifically “aren’t particularly ideological,” so they tend to give money to incumbents, rather than candidates in open primaries.

“Most corporate PACs don’t make direct contributions to presidential candidates,” he says, “especially when there’s a primary where you don’t know what the outcome will be.”

And even when corporate PACs do give money to a candidate, the sum pales in comparison to other contributions. In the 2016 presidential election, for example, Hillary Clinton raised around $ 250,000 from corporate PACs–constituting less than 0.5% of the total money she raised, data analyst Brendan Glavin told Marketplace. That number was even smaller for then-candidate Donald Trump: $ 26,000 or 0.01% of his total fundraising.

Finding the Loopholes

While corporate PACs might not donate money to a specific candidate who doesn’t want them, they can still donate to a political party. A candidate like Warren could reject the corporate and special interest money, but that doesn’t mean the Democratic Party as a whole will do the same. Money that comes through the party could end up being used to support an individual candidate or to sponsor political events.

But perhaps the easiest workaround is that people who work for corporations can donate on an individual basis, money that many candidates gladly continue to accept. In some cases, candidates may even seek out money from a company’s executives on an individual basis.

Michael Williams, founder of the public policy and communications consulting firm The Williams Group, calls it a “sick irony” that candidates will turn away lobbyist or corporate PAC money, while continuing to accept money from executives at the same companies.

“What’s the difference? If you won’t take a particular bank’s money, but you’ll take the bank executive’s money?” Williams tells Fortune. “Are you really materially changing anything?”

Williams says doing so only perpetuates the myth that money influences policy. If a candidate is completely opposed to an industry, he says, those corporations won’t give them money because they don’t expect money to change a candidate’s position.

“I don’t know anyone who was a ‘no’ on something until they got a contribution and then became a ‘yes,’” he says.

And these private donations tend to add up much more quickly than those from a corporate PAC. Unlike individual contribution limits, which have grown over time, corporate PACs continue to face the $ 5,000 per candidate donation limit–a figure that hasn’t changed since 1974. As such, the total contributions from individuals have skyrocketed as compared to those from PACs.

According to 2017-18 data from OpenSecrets, corporate PAC donations to Democrats totaled $ 149,426,431, while business donations from individuals to Democrats totaled $ 920,808,050–more than six times the total given by PACs.

FEC data for the 2016 presidential election shows that corporate PAC donations to Democratic presidential candidates totaled $ 942,116, and independent expenditures for non-political committees totaled $ 4,582,471.

But not everyone feels rejecting corporate PAC money is misguided. At the very least, the move could be an effective branding strategy.

Brad Smith, a former FEC commissioner and the current chairman of the Institute for Free Speech, a nonprofit that advocates for loosening campaign-finance regulations, calls swearing off corporate PAC money “not meaningless, but a calculation,” and says the advantage of doing so could outweigh the loss of PAC money.

“It might even get them a net increase in contributions if it persuades more individuals to give,” Smith tells Fortune.

What about super PACs?

While not all of the Democratic candidates are aligned in this respect, many of the expected frontrunners–including Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, and Elizabeth Warren–have disavowed super PACs. But this is tricky in practice.

Super PACs have only been around since 2010, but unlike other PACs, they can accept unlimited contributions from any non-foreign source and can spend unlimited amounts to influence an election–meaning that their potential power is also limitless.

Yet super PACs are intended to operate independently from a candidate: they are legally prohibited from contributing directly to a candidate or party, meaning that their funds are usually used to run ads for or against particular candidates and issues. As a result, a candidate can say that they don’t support a super PAC operating on their behalf, but in practice, there isn’t all that much they can do to stop it.

“Any candidate who swears he won’t accept super PAC money is either ignorant, or assumes the listener is ignorant,” says Smith. “A candidate cannot ‘refuse’ super PAC support. He can publicly ask a super PAC not to spend in his race, but the super PAC can choose to ignore the plea and spend whatever it wants.”

Such a claim, therefore, amounts to “grandstanding,” he says.

In addition to swearing off super PACs, some candidates–like Julian Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Beto O’Rourke, and Elizabeth Warren–have sworn off PAC money entirely, meaning they won’t accept money from labor or ideological PACs, either. Gabbard, O’Rourke, and Warren are also joined by Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, and Amy Klobuchar in a pledge to refuse money from lobbyists.

But the pledge that might matter more than the others, according to Mayersohn, is Warren’s. Going a step further than the rest of the crowd, Warren told supporters in a February email that she would not attend high-dollar fundraisers, dinners, or cocktail receptions with donors, in order to provide “equal access.”

Looks like 2020 might become the small dollar donation election, after all.


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Another perfect score on 2019 Corporate Equality Index

For the 13th consecutive year, Kaiser Permanente has earned a 100 percent score in the 2019 Corporate Equality Index, a survey administered by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. As part of this national benchmarking survey and report, which evaluates corporate policies and practices related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer workplace policies, HRC named Kaiser Permanente a Best Place to Work for LGBTQ Equality.

“We are proud to be recognized once again by the Human Rights Campaign Foundation for our ongoing commitment to ensure our workforce represents our members, patients, and communities — irrespective of gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation,” said Ronald L. Copeland, MD, FACS, senior vice president and chief equity, inclusion, and diversity officer. “For over 70 years, Kaiser Permanente has regarded equity, inclusion, and diversity as core principles of our organization.”

Now in its 17th year, the Corporate Equality Index report scores businesses on their LGBTQ-related policies and practices, including non-discrimination workplace protections, employment benefits, competency programs, public engagement on LGBTQ equity, and responsible citizenship.

By inspiring and engaging all Americans, the HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBTQ people. It is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer equality.

Main RSS Feed | KP Comms


Gloria Boyland, One of The Most Powerful Women in Corporate America, Drives Innovation At FedEx

BLACK ENTERPRISE recently unveiled our roster of the Most Powerful Women in Corporate America, identifying the highest-ranking female executives of the nation’s largest corporations and honoring this business elite at our 14th annual Women of Power Summit. Included among the three executives representative of this group featured on the cover of our January-March issue was Gloria Boyland, corporate VP, operations and service support for FedEx Corp., which provides millions across the globe with a range of transportation, commerce and business services.


The Savannah, Georgia native, who holds an MBA from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, joined FedEx in 2004 as vice president of service experience and quality in which she coordinated a range of company-wide improvement initiatives, among other areas, before rising to her current position. The following are Boyland’s responses to questions on her innovative role, career journey and advice to young professionals seeking to advance to corporate leadership:

Share with us your role as corporate vice president, operations and service support? In working with members of FedEx’s Strategic Management Committee, how do you help drive innovation and improvement throughout the organization?

As corporate vice president of operations and service support for FedEx Corporation, I am responsible for the evaluation and leadership of priority advanced operations technology initiatives, service quality improvements, customer experience improvements, and new service offerings for the company.

Technology advancements, digitalization, and the explosive growth of e-commerce require companies like FedEx to respond rapidly to rising customer expectations in a cost-effective manner. My role in the innovation space is comprised of three key parts: 1) I work closely with the members of the FedEx Strategic Management Committee to define key strategic opportunities; 2) I scan the technology space to identify optimal technology partners; and 3) I lead initiatives to achieve speed and scale, such as the recently announced FedEx SameDay Bot.

Define Quality Driven Management and how that approach is a part of the company’s DNA?

Quality Driven Management, or QDM in short, is the secret sauce to the way we work at FedEx. QDM provides a set of common principles and methods that unleashes the creativity of our worldwide team of more than 450,000 team members as we deliver on our Purple Promise to “make every FedEx experience outstanding.”  QDM is like a universal translator – no matter which global region, function or title a team member has, QDM instills in us the passion and commitment to improve customer experience and business performance.

What is it like to work with FedEx founder and CEO Fred Smith? What lessons have you learned from him? How has that relationship impacted you from a professional and personal standpoint?

Mr. Smith is an amazing, transformational leader who inspires and motivates his team to perform at high levels.  He founded FedEx on a “people first” philosophy 45 years ago, and that strong corporate culture continues to be deeply embedded across the organization today. He believes that every one of our more than 450,000 team members across the globe is a vital link in the chain of success. I have learned from him how absolutely critical it is to foster loyalty, the customer’s experience and an entrepreneurial spirit with each team member.

We would like insight into your professional evolution during your formative years. What led to your interest in technology and logistics? Who and what served as your inspiration in the field? Who were your mentors?

 Over the years, I have sought and received advice and counsel from family, friends and colleagues, including my own leadership chain and the many team members who make up my organization. Research has shown that diversity of perspective is not only essential to business success, but also to personal success. I have gained perspective from the myriad of people who have mentored me throughout my career and each one was valuable in their own unique way.

 Define your management style and guiding principles.

 My direct reports are vice presidents who lead their own organizations, so I embrace a coaching management style. My team plays a vital role in the success of my overall organization – everyone matters.  At FedEx, we have adopted a new program called Coach Forward, which focuses on enhancing work performance and motivation.

I have three guiding principles: Each day, recommit to doing your best and being your best; say: do ratio must be 1:1; and, step back so others can step up. These principles ensure success and a sense of accomplishment.

BLACK ENTERPRISE has appropriately named you as one of our Most Powerful Women in Corporate America. As such, what have been some of the challenges that you faced as a woman in your career journey? How have overcoming them shaped you as a business leader?

One of my biggest personal challenges has been maintaining confidence in the midst of setbacks. It has taught me to persevere and to trust my instincts in the face of doubt from others. Persistence and patience, I have learned, are necessary as one struggles to attain and maintain relevance in the organization.  Now, as a business leader, I am confident in my decisions. I learned to find my own voice and trust in my capabilities and experience.

Provide us with your views of the state of diversity in the tech industry? How can more African American women, in particular, make gains in reaching top leadership positions in the corporate sector?

Women and minorities have a presence in the technology industry, but continue to be underrepresented as leadership roles are dominated by white and Asian men. In 2017, women made up about 26 percent of the tech industry, and black women were just 3 percent of that overall number. Leading by example, then creating opportunities for black women is the strategy for increasing our representation. We need to inspire and engage.

Leaders such as Shirley Ann Jackson at FedEx, Linda Johnson Rice at Tesla, and Debra Lee at Twitter, exemplify the importance of representation and influence through corporate board oversight and governance. Innovators like Stephanie Lampkin, founder of Blendoor, and Kimberly Bryant, founder of Black Girls Code, are executing the grassroots approach. Stephanie founded Blendoor to help eliminate racial bias in hiring. She is also publishing a data-driven report, BlendScore, which will rate companies on diversity and inclusion.

Maya Angelou said it well, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.”  Inspiration and engagement will ignite change.

What advice do you give young professionals who aspire to achieve leadership positions in corporate America?

Be brave. Take some risk. Someone once told me never to take on a role that wasn’t fully established with a clear career path and accountabilities. I have done the exact opposite and it has served me well. We all have different paths to success. Find the path that suits you. Along the way, you’ll find people who will champion you and willingly help lift you up.


The post Gloria Boyland, One of The Most Powerful Women in Corporate America, Drives Innovation At FedEx appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise


Most Powerful Women in Corporate America

A black woman may not be the image that comes to mind for most people when they hear corporate power—and it certainly won’t be the result of a Google search—but around here, we know better. Women of color are remaking the face of leadership teams and C-suites at corporations across the country and around the globe.

So we’re celebrating the fearless female executives who have managed both to stand firm in the face of hostile corporate environments and to take the bull by the metaphorical horns, powering their careers to the top.

The recent Women in the Workplace report from McKinsey and LeanIn showed that black women receive the least support of all women (and significantly less support than men) from their managers, with just 35% reporting that their managers create opportunities for them to showcase their work, promote their contributions to others, or socialize with them outside of work. 

So how have dozens of black women overcome these obstacles to make it to the top of the corporate ladder? By owning their power, of course.

“Take ownership for your own career,” says Tracey Travis, CFO of Estée Lauder.

“You have an opportunity of readying yourself and expressing an interest in those areas that the management team is looking at in terms of valued experience and trying to build relationships with the folks that run those areas to make yourself more known.”

The 136 women on the roster make up our largest ever list of the crème of the crop of the most powerful black women in corporate America. They have succeeded by leading with performance, deeply understanding their company culture, deftly navigating the corporate landscape, and—above all—wisely wielding their power to determine their own destiny.



[a-team-showcase id=”600257″]

Divisional CEOs

[a-team-showcase id=”600453″]

Powerful Executives

[a-team-showcase id=”634608″]
[a-team-showcase id=”634875″]



Executives must meet the following criteria to make our roster:
  • Hold companywide and industrywide influence, each list member represents the highest-ranking executives among the following universes:
    • 1,000 largest publicly traded companies
    • 100 largest international companies with significant U.S. operations
    • S&P 500 companies
    • Largest privately held companies and institutions
    • Each executive has a direct impact on ensuring their corporations are market leaders and/or play a vital leadership role in revenue generation, profitability, market share, and strategic development. As such, they hold top-tier and executive officer positions of the entire enterprise; oversee major global, national, and regional subsidiaries and divisions; and maintain significant budget authority. Positions include those with oversight of operations, sales, marketing, talent, technological infrastructure, and product development.
  • Each executive reports directly to the CEO, COO, or the executive management team or hold positions on corporate board committees.
  • Top-tier executives who serve as corporate officers or members of the senior leadership team.
  • Women who hold C-suite positions including CEO (chief executive officer); COO (chief operating
    officer); CFO (chief financial officer); CAO (chief administrative officer); CIO/CTO (chief information
    officer/chief technology officer); or another top designation on the corporate leadership
    team, senior management group, executive committee, or corporate board. Those who hold the
    positions of Chief Compliance Officer; Chief Legal Officer and/or General Counsel and Chief Human
    Resource Officer are included. Other titles include president, general manager, executive vice
    president, or other such high-ranking positions. Using our research and reporting, BE may have
    also chosen executives based on their decision-making clout and influence within a given sector
  • All executives have held their positions as of Dec. 1, 2018.

Executives who have been excluded from our list:

  • Non-executive corporate directors—regardless of board position including chairman and lead director.
  • Executives who manage local and statewide divisions.
  • Executives who work for government agencies and entities under full government control.
  • Regardless of inclusion on the executive committee, leading executives with sole responsibility for staff functions such as corporate communications, corporate affairs, investor relations, public affairs, public policy, media relations, and community affairs.
  • Although vital to global business overall, CEOs and top executives from the BE 100s—the nation’s largest black businesses—were not included. (BE has separate rankings for the BE 100s.)

The post Most Powerful Women in Corporate America appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise


Fortune 500 Company Corporate Board Diversity at All-Time High

A new report from the Alliance for Board Diversity (ABD) and Deloitte, reveals that women and people of color represent 34% of all corporate board seats in Fortune 500 companies—placing board diversity at an all-time high.

Here are some key findings from the study:

-Black woman gained 32 board seats in 2018, an increase of 26.2% from 2016.

-Black men gained 26 board seats in 2018, an increase of 8.5% from 2016.

-Black and Asian women achieved the largest increase in board seats; black women at a 44.8% increase, and Asian women at a 30.8% increase.

-Companies are increasingly re-appointing minority board members to their boards rather than seeking out new directors.

“The increase in boardroom diversity over the last two years is encouraging, but we must not overlook that Caucasian/White men still hold 66% of all Fortune 500 board seats and 91.1% of chairmanships on these boards,” said Linda Akutagawa, chair for the Alliance for Board Diversity and president and CEO, LEAP (Leadership for Asian Pacifics).

“While progress has been achieved, there is still much more work to do,” said Deb DeHaas, vice chairman and national managing partner, Deloitte Center for Board Effectiveness.

‘Wokeness’ in the Boardroom 

Corporate America has been responsive to the wave of activism, particularly across social media, in regards to racism, sexism, economic inequality, and various other societal ills. Last year, Nike interjected itself into the heated debate over NFL players kneeling during the national anthem pre-game, to protest police brutality. The athletic apparel company made the symbol of the kneeling movement, Colin Kaepernick, a star in one of its ad campaigns.

The risk of offending customers who disagree with protesting on the field seemed to be worth taking. Nike’s sales increased 31% after the Kaepernick ad backlash.

Recently, Gillette, a Procter & Gamble brand, released an ad in line with the #MeToo movement, urging men to take responsibility for sexist behavior of other men. The ad is inciting both praise and outrage.

It’s not yet known how the controversial ad will affect P&G’s bottom line; the company is set to release its Q2 earnings next week (but so far, Wall Street speculation is favorable).

Burger King is the latest company to wade into political waters after posting a tweet poking fun at a misspelled tweet of Donald Trump’s.

CNN coined this ad trend “woke advertising.” This “wokeness” has presumably made it into the corporate boardrooms as the growing diversity board diversity numbers seem to evidence.

Despite Spate of Black Executive Board Appointments, Challenges Persist

A number of high-profile black executives have been appointed to the boards of some of the world’s largest companies. Last November, Nike announced the appointment of John W. Rogers, the CEO and founder of Ariel Investments L.L.C. to its board. Retired AMEX CEO Ken Chenault sits on the boards of Facebook and Airbnb. Edith Cooper, the executive vice president and global head of human capital at Goldman Sachs was added to Silicon Valley company Slack’s board. View a full listing of black board members on BLACK ENTERPRISE’s 2018 Registry of Corporate Directors.

As progress is made, challenges remain. One issue is that most board appointments come from the C-suite level and from the pool of corporate CEOs, in particular. The number of black CEOS at the corporate level has shrunk in recent years. Chenault actually discussed this issue with BE in a recent interview.

“We have a long way to go,” said Chenault. “As I’ve said publicly, I think it’s embarrassing that the number of African American CEOs has actually been reduced from eight years ago. That’s a serious problem. From an African American perspective, we are underrepresented. We can talk all the theories we want. People talk about the complexity of this issue. I know that there are very qualified people. They just haven’t gotten the opportunity.”

While it’s important to celebrate the achievement made in diversifying American corporate boards, there is still the need to build up the pipeline of qualified black executives that can ascend to the C-suite.

The post Fortune 500 Company Corporate Board Diversity at All-Time High appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise


Nearly half of corporate CFOs are expecting a US recession by the end of 2019

Duke University's look at where 212 CFOs stand showed that 48.6 percent think the next negative growth period is less than 12 months away. 


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HICL 6-month Profit Up; Board Recommends Corporate Domicile Change To UK

HICL Infrastructure Company Limited (HICL.L) reported profit before tax of 192.6 million pounds for the six months ended 30 September 2018, up from 87.6 million pounds in the year-ago period. Earnings per share rose to 10.8 pence from 5.1 pence a year ago.
RTT – Earnings


How Marvel and Corporate Comics Are Failing the ‘Vulnerable’ Creators Behind Their Superheroes

Last month, novelist Chuck Wendig—the bestselling author of the licensed Star Wars novel Aftermath and its sequels—stood before a crowd at New York Comic Con and announced he’d be working on Shadow of Vader, a miniseries for Marvel Comics. A week later, on October 12th, Wendig made another announcement: he’d been fired. The reason given, Wendig wrote on his personal website, was “the negativity and vulgarity that my tweets bring. Seriously, that’s what Mark, the editor said…It was too much politics, too much vulgarity, too much negativity on my part.”

Wendig, an openly progressive and occasionally combative presence on social media, had been the target of a long-running harassment campaign* fueled by reactionaries in the Star Wars fan community. His books were review bombed; he dealt with SWATing attempts, harassment from bots and sock-puppet accounts, and creepy personal messages. “People have been trying to get me fired from Star Wars since Aftermath came out. Since before it came out, actually,” he told The Daily Beast in an email. “[Lucas Film Licensing] has always had my back, and with Marvel, my politics never came up. And I haven’t been shy about those politics—or about being vulgar, which has been part of my voice so to speak since my first novel, Blackbirds, which is a very vulgar book…I never received any warnings about my behavior.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

The Daily Beast — Entertainment