B.E. 40th ANNIVERSARY COVER GALLERY

nd-1988-FEBRUARY

In February 1988, BLACK ENTERPRISE published an unprecedented list of blacks who reached the upper echelons of corporate power. The roster, “The 25 Hottest Managers in Corporate America,” looked at executives who controlled multimillion dollar budgets and ran billion-dollar divisions. Not one executive on that list was a black woman. From that original list, however, two reached CEO status at one of the nation’s largest 500 publicly-traded corporations: A. Barry Rand, former CEO of Avis Corp. and Kenneth I. Chenault, current Chairman and CEO of American Express. As of 2009, the list has grown to become the “100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America.” Currently, there are nine black CEOs of the nation’s largest publicly-traded corporations – including one woman.

In February 1988, BLACK ENTERPRISE published an unprecedented list of blacks who reached the upper…