BLACK ENTERPRISE unveils an editorial franchise like no other in media: 100 Most Powerful Executives in Corporate America. That’s a long way from when BE produced our first list of “America’s Hottest Managers” in 1988, 25 high-powered professionals that included only one division president and not a single woman. In this year’s listing developed by our editors over several months, we identify an array of audacious game changers remaking global business in sectors ranging from fast food and financial services to manufacturing and technology. In fact, tonight this elite group will be honored by our magazine at an invitation-only event held at the New York Stock Exchange hosted by FedEx and NYSE Euronext. To give you a preview of the business leaders who made our exclusive roster published in our September issue, we share with you eight CEOs who operate some of the world’s largest publicly-traded corporations.
Ursula M. Burns
Charmain & CEO
Burns oversees a corporation that reported $22.6 billion in revenue and a workforce of roughly 140,000 employees in more than 160 countries. The first black female to run one of the nation’s 1,000 largest publicly-traded companies, she completed the largest transaction in Xerox’s history — the $6.4 billion acquisition of Affiliated Computer Services — shortly after her appointment in 2009.
Kenneth I. ChenaultChairman & CEOAmerican Express Co.Chenault leads a leviathan that provides payment-card products and travel services to consumers and businesses worldwide and produced $30 billion in revenue in 2011. In more than a decade at the helm, he guided the company through 9/11, the Great Recession and more than doubled worldwide billed business. Chenault was the youngest member of our 1988 list and the only executive from that listing who can be found on today’s roster.
Steven A. Davis
Chairman & CEO
Bob Evans Farms Inc.
Davis oversees the entity that owns and operates Bob Evans and Mimi’s Cafe full-service restaurants, producing $1.7 billion in sales last year. He is also a long-time veteran of the food services industry, having held executive posts at Yum! Brands Inc.’s Pizza Hut division and served as president of Long John Silver’s restaurant chain.
Roger W. Ferguson Jr.
President & CEO
Ferguson leads the strategic direction for an organization with $440.7 billion in assets under management. A former chairman of the board of governors of the U.S. Federal Reserve System, he served as a voting member of the Federal Open Market Committee and as chairman of the Financial Stability Forum. Currently, Ferguson is a member of the President’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness.
Kenneth C. Frasier
Chairman, President & CEO
Merck & Co. Inc.
Frazier is responsible for a mammoth operation the reported worldwide sales of $48 billion in 2011: pharmaceuticals, consumer care, and animal health. As of the end of 2011, global restructuring of the company of his stewardship has enabled Merck to realize $2.9 billion in annual net cost savings.
President & CEO
Delphi Automotive P.L.C.
O’Neal recently guided Delphi through a major corporate overhaul, returning the company to the New York Stock Exchange and providing customers with a portfolio of safe, green, and connected products and technologies. As a result of his leadership, this global supplier of electrical, electronics, thermal and powertrain technologies produced $16 billion in revenue in 2011.
Clarence Otis Jr.
Chairman & CEO
Darden Restaurants Inc.
Otis leads the world’s largest full-service restaurant operating company which reported annual sales of $8 billion in fiscal 2012. He oversees some of the biggest brands in the restaurant industry including, among others, Red Lobster, Olive Garden and Bahama Breeze.