Power in the Boardroom

Our exclusive list of black corporate directors at America's 250 largest companies

reputation as an effective negotiator as secretary of labor under former President Bill Clinton.
Herman may be new to Coca-Cola’s 12-member board, but she has championed these areas at the soft-drink maker since she chaired its Human Resources Task Force from 2001 to 2006. Herman, who believes boards are becoming more hands on, maintains that a diverse talent pool represents “a large part of any company’s growth structure. The workforce of the future is one of immigrants, women, and people of color. Knowing how to leverage their talents and seeing them as part of the bottom line and part of the business case is what increasingly smart companies are beginning to understand.”
-Carolyn M. Brown

The Power Broker: Vernon E. Jordan Jr.
Title: Senior Managing Director, Lazard FrËres & Co.
Boards: American Express Co., Xerox Corp.
This grandson of a sharecropper has bridged the arenas of business, politics, and public service for nearly five decades. In the process, he’s become one of the most sought-after and influential advisers of corporate chiefs, public #servants, and-at one point-the president of the United States.
Jordan joined his first boards in the early 1970s during his stint as executive director of the National Urban League. Since that time, he has served on more than 10 corporate boards, not to mention high-ranking bodies such as the Council on Foreign Relations and The Iraq Study Group. In fact, corporate governance researchers found that Jordan simultaneously sat on more boards than 90% of all corporate directors, rubbing elbows with roughly 100 of them per month. Not one to be relegated to the sidelines as “a special-interest director,” the dynamic power broker always makes sure that he is “where the action is.” He has served on such bodies as the audit and compensation committees. “You want to be on the compensation committee because everything revolves around compensation,” he says. “You’re paying people from the chairman on down.”
Cultivating the success of the world’s most powerful corporations-including the spectacular turnaround of Xerox, which nearly went bankrupt several years ago, and the fortification of American Express, which reeled from staggering financial and human losses after 9-11-requires a combination of loyalty, good judgment, and rhino-tough skin, Jordan maintains. “I think I’ve been in boardrooms all of my life. As a kid in Atlanta, I had on a white coat and tie [serving board members for] my mother’s catering service,” he says. “The boardroom had a different look from the vantage point of a waiter as opposed to the vantage point of a director.” -DTD

The Marketing Maven: Joyce M. RochÈ
Title: President and CEO Girls Inc.
Boards: AT&T Inc., Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc., Macy’s Inc.
“Consumer marketing maven” perfectly depicts Girls Inc. President and CEO Joyce M. RochÈ. It was through a search firm specializing in identifying corporate and nonprofit board candidates that RochÈ gained her first directorship at a telecom acquired by SBC Communications. Says RochÈ, who was president and COO of #Carson Products Co. at the time of her appointment: “The telecom industry was going through great change after the breakup

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