The Most Powerful African Americans In Corporate America - Page 14 of 24

The Most Powerful African Americans In Corporate America

for growing Dow Automotive business from a materials sales office to a strategic division, offering product development and engineering services. Hamilton was handpicked to help transform Dow Automotive into its profit center in 2000. Today, he oversees a $1.5 billion business unit that includes 1,700 employees and 40 locations worldwide. Largely responsible for the company’s shift from selling materials to engineering systems and components, he also leads the Dow Automotive executive management and automotive leadership teams. In 2003, Dow Chemical, the parent company, generated $32.6 billion in revenues.

Hoyt Harper II, Senior Vice President, Four Points by Sheraton Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., Age: 50, Harper is responsible for all operational aspects of the Four Points by Sheraton hotels, including brand standards, product development, and owner relations. Its parent company, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, generated $3.8 billion in revenues and is ranked among the top 500 publicly traded companies. It is also perhaps one of the largest employers in the nation, employing some 110,000 people around the globe. Under Harper’s leadership, Four Points by Sheraton had been voted the No. 1 mid-priced hotel brand by Business Travel News in 2002. A 22-year veteran, Harper has served as the company’s senior vice president of business development and marketing programs. As such, he structured strategic alliances for Starwood and developed loyalty and membership programs.

Isaiah “Ike” Harris Jr., President, BellSouth Advertising & Publishing Group, Age: 52, Born in West Memphis, Arkansas, Harris spent eight years as a professional football player with the then-St. Louis Cardinals and the New Orleans Saints before joining the accounting and consulting firm KPMG Peat Marwick. In November 2004, Harris was named to his current position, overseeing Berry Co.; Stevens Graphics; and IntelliVentures, the Internet company that produces Real Harris will continue to be responsible for BellSouth’s Latin American operations. In January 2004, He was named president of BellSouth Enterprises, which generates 15% of BellSouth’s $22.6 billion in revenues. Harris served three years as president of BellSouth Consumer Services, responsible for the strategic marketing, sales, and customer service direction.

Rayford Wilkins Jr., Group President & CEO of Enterprise Business Sales, SBC Communications, Age: 53, When this regional Baby Bell looks for growth and profitability, it calls Wilkins. Before taking on his current position, Wilkins was group president of marketing and sales, responsible for nearly $30 billion in annual revenues. He led the turnaround from a negative 8% in annual revenues growth to a positive 2% in less than 24 months-an unprecedented performance in the industry. Under his leadership, SBC launched and became the No. 1 DSL provider in the U.S. with 4.3 million customers at the end of September 2004, giving cable a run for its money in the battle of the bandwidths. Late in 2003, SBC was granted approval from the Federal Communications Commission to provide long-distance service. Wilkins sees SBC’s new regulatory freedom as an opening to capture market share. It has already vaulted to the No. 2 spot in long-distance service with nearly 20 million