African-Americans at the Top of the Corporate Ladder
1 year ago
We take a look at five prominent black Americans who have gained fame as businesspeople.
The stereotypical image of the corporate titan is of an old cigar-smoking man who happens to be white.
Over the years, though, many smart and motivated African-Americans have helped to wipe away that mirage by ascending to the very top of the corporate hierarchy. Many of them are not old, not necessarily male, and certainly not Caucasian.
Space restrictions prohibit us from listing the scores of African-American names that crowd the various Who’s Who business rolls; instead, we’ve selected five of the most prominent over the last few years.
Earvin “Magic” Johnson – Many former athletes retreat from public life once their career is over. When the former Michigan State and Los Angeles Lakers basketball star retired, it seems he was just getting warmed up for the rest of his life.
An eager and ambitious businessman, the Hall of Famer oversees Magic Johnson Enterprises, a company (and accompanying charitable foundation) that concentrates on serving the country’s African-American communities. The tall man never quite gave up on sports, meanwhile. Far from it; recently, his partnership with several other notables won its bid to purchase Major League Baseball’s troubled Los Angeles Dodgers.
Kenneth Chenault – The old tag line was “don’t leave home without it,” and even today many consumers in this country make sure to keep an American Express card in their wallet wherever they go.
Kenneth Chenault is largely responsible for this; he’s been CEO of the company for over fifteen years and chairman of its board of directors since the beginning of 2001. AMEX has been doing particularly well lately, growing both its revenue and net profitability and finding its way into the portfolios of many top-level stock investors.