The event was hosted by NYSE Euronext and FedEx, one of the few companies to have three execs make the roster: Shannon Brown, SVP & Chief HR/Diversity Officer; Cathy D. Ross, CFO; and Mathew Thornton III, SVP, U.S. Operations — all members of its FedEx Express division. Echoing the sentiment of a number of the Most Power 100 in attendance, Thornton said, “This is truly an honor. It is great to receive this recognition among your peers and to demonstrate there are no limits to achievement.”
Black Enterprise has identified the most powerful executives since launching its inaugural list in February 1988 as “America’s Hottest Black Managers.â€ That cadre of high-powered professionals included only one division president and not a single woman. Over 25 years, the publication has developed the list four other times — in 1993, 2000, 2005 and 2009 — revealing some icons of American industry like ex-Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines (named the first black chief executive of one of the country’s top 500 publicly-traded companies in 1999); former Time Warner Chairman & CEO and Citgroup Chairman Dick Parsons; former Merrill Lynch & Co. honcho Stanley O’Neal; former Young & Rubicam Chairman & CEO Ann M. Fudge and former head of Avis and current AARP CEO A. Barry Rand. Today, eight executives on the listÂ — including one woman – are CEOs of leading publicly-traded companies. Thompson is one of the members of that exclusive club that includes Xerox Corp.’s Ursula Burns and American Express’ Kenneth Chenault, the only executive to be found on all five listings.
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