First Black Woman CEO of FedEx Talks About Her Rise From Being a Teen Mom to Landing In the C-Suite

First Black Woman CEO of FedEx Talks About Her Rise From Being a Teen Mom to Landing In the C-Suite

After transitioning from retail, 31 years of consistency at a transportation corporation advanced this Black woman to the C-suite.

Ramona Hood, Custom Critical CEO for FedEx, became the first African American woman to lead a FedEx operating company in its history.

Hood landed a full-time shift as a receptionist with FedEx Custom Critical, which was then known as Roberts Express. According to CNBC, the former receptionist advanced in the company holding various executive leadership roles.

“I was a 19-year-old single mom, so my focus at that time really was around having a job with constant hours,” Hood told the outlet.

Hood was promoted as CEO and president of the operating company in 2020, overseeing special expedited ground services and other services that cover areas including temperature control, increased security, and same-day and overnight delivery for customers.

During CNBC’s 2022 Work Summit on Tuesday, Hood shared the lessons and experiences that helped her move up the corporate ladder and navigate her role during the pandemic.

Hood’s focus on bringing value to the corporation led her to overseeing her own board of directors, and as her roles began to advance, she shifted her intentions.

“It was many years later that I started to focus on a career and recognized the world of FedEx and how big it was,” she said. “I decided to really be intentional with my career, and that focus has driven me to the place I’m in today.”

Hood shared that her present focus is “on bringing the business forward to ensure that our people are able to demonstrate the best in their skills and their ability.”

Along with her promotion as CEO, the world was in the early stages of the pandemic, and Hood’s focus was on maintaining communication and an effective approach.

“Our focus was really to get people home fairly quickly with the infrastructure that had not been tested in that way, and our goal was to continue to work to see if we’re going to break it and then fix it,” she said.

The corporation continues to use that strategy under Hood’s leadership to solve problems faster than before.

According to Forbes, Hood earned a bachelor of arts in Business Management from Walsh University and an wxecutive MBA from Case Western Reserve University Weatherhead School of Management. She was recognized by the Greater Akron Chamber with the 30 for the Future award in 2010, and acknowledged by Sales & Marketing Executives International with a Distinguished Sales & Marketing Award in 2013.