Black Chairman & CEO's of Fortune 500 Companies

The "Fortune 500"  is a list of the 500 largest companies in the United States as compiled by Fortune magazine. Only 15 black executives have ever made it to the Chairman or CEO position of a "Fortune 500" listed company. Of these 15 executives, there are currently 5 active, representing 1% of the Fortune 500 top leadership.

 

In 1987, Dr. Clifton R. Wharton, Jr. became Chairman and CEO of TIAA-CREF — distinguishing him as the first black CEO of a Fortune 500 company. 

 

Franklin Raines became the second black person to lead a "Fortune 500" company, when he became CEO of Fannie Mae in 1999. 

 

On July 1, 2009, Ursula Burns became the first black woman to head a Fortune 500 company. Ms. Burns will step down as the CEO of Xerox in late 2016, following the completion of the separation of Xerox into two independent, publicly-traded companies. She will serve as chairman of the board of the post-separation Document Technology company.

 

There are currently no black majority owned company in the Fortune 500 rankings.

Updated January, 29, 2015.

African American Chairman & CEO's of Fortune 500 Companies 2016

Chairman/CEO Age Position Company Rank Revenue ($ bil.) Profits ($ bil)
John W. Thompson 67 Chairman Microsoft Corporation 25 $93.60 $12.19
Kenneth C. Frazier 61 Chairman, CEO Merck & Co., Inc 72 $39.50 $4.44
Kenneth I. Chenault 65 Chairman, CEO American Express 85 $34.40 $5.16
Roger W. Ferguson, Jr. 64 CEO, President TIAA-CREF 82 $35.20 $1.20
Ursula M. Burns 57 Chairman, CEO Xerox Corporation 150 $18.70 $0.47

Current Black CEO's of Fortune 500 Companies

  • John W. Thompson

    John W. Thompson

    Born: April 24, 1949, in Fort Dix, New Jersey Position: Chairman, Board of Directors, Company: Microsoft Corporation, Industry: Technology Country: United States

  • Kenneth C. Frazier

    Born: December 17, 1954, Position: President, Chief Executive Officer and Director, Company: Merck & Co., Inc., Industry: Health Care, Country: United States

  • Kenneth I. Chenault

    Born: June 2, 1951, New York, New York. Company: American Express Position: Chairman and CEO Industry: Financial Services Country: United States

  • Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.

    Roger W. Ferguson, Jr.,

    Born: October 28, 1951, Washington, D.C.; Position: President and CEO; Company: TIAA-CREF; Industry: Insurance; Country: United States

  • Ursula M. Burns

    Born: New York, New York, September 20, 1958 Company: Xerox Corporation Position: Chairman and CEO Industry: Printing and Imaging Equipment Country: United States

Former African American CEO's of Fortune 500 Companies

  • Aylwin Lewis

    Born: May 28, 1954, Houston, TX. Company: Potbelly Sandwich Works Position: Chief Executive Officer and President Industry: Food Services Country: United States

  • Clarence Otis, Jr.

    Clarence Otis, Jr.

    Born: April 11, 1956, Vicksburg, MS. Company: Darden Restaurants, Inc. Position: Former Chief Executive Officer and President Industry: Food Services Country: United States

  • Clifton R. Wharton Jr.

    Clifton R. Wharton Jr.

    Born: September 13, 1926, Boston, MA; Position: former United States Deputy Secretary of State, former chairman, CEO; Company: TIAA-CREF; Industry: Insurance; Country: United States

  • Don Thompson

    Born: 1963, Chicago, IL. Company: McDonald's Position: CEO Industry: Food Country: United States

  • Franklin Delano Raines

    Born: January 14, 1949, Seattle, Washington Company: Revolution LLC Position: Director Industry: Financial Services Country: United States

  • Lloyd D. Ward

    Lloyd D. Ward

    Company: CleanTech Solutions Worldwide, LLC, Position: Chairman and CEO, Industry: Waste Management Services, Food Manufacturing, Country: United States

  • Richard Dean Parson

    Born: April 4, 1948, Brooklyn, NY., Company: Los Angeles Clippers, Position: interim CEO, Industry: Entertainment Country: United States

  • Rodney O'Neal

    Born: c. 1954 Company: Delphi Corporation Position: Chief Executive Officer and President Industry: Automotive Country: United States

  • Ronald A. Williams

    Ronald A. Williams

    Born: 1949, Chicago, Illinois, United States Company: RW2 Enterprises Position: Chairman and CEO Industry: Health Care Country: United States

  • Stanley O'Neal

    Born: Oct. 7, 1951, Roanoke, Ala. Company: Alcoa Inc. Position: Director Industry: Financial Services Country: United States

Possible Future Black CEO's of Fortune 500 Companies

  • Charles E. Phillips, Jr.

    Born: 1959, Little Rock, Arkansas, Company: Infor Global Solutions, Position: CEO, Industry: Computer Technology, Country: United States

  • Myron Gray

    Myron Gray

    Born: c. 1959 Position: President of U.S. Operations, Company: United Parcel Service of North America, Inc., (NYSE: UPS), Industry: Courier Country: United States

  • Rosalind G. Brewer

    Born: c. 1962, Company: Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., Position: President and CEO, Sam's Club, Industry: Retail, Country: United States