The Most Powerful African Americans In Corporate America - Page 20 of 24
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The Most Powerful African Americans In Corporate America

commercial development, and dedicated support. She also co-chairs Genentech’s product portfolio committee, providing strategic and financial oversight of the drug development portfolio.

Sylvia Rhone, President / Executive Vice President, Motown Records / Universal Records, Age: 53, On the list of pop-music divas, Rhone is definitely at the top-not as a musical talent, but as the woman with the knack for identifying the hottest superstars, from R&B to rap. The New York native has a bachelor’s degree in economics from Wharton. She began her career in the record business 30 years ago at Buddha Records. In 1990, she became the first African American woman to head a major record company when she was named CEO and president of Atlantic’s EastWest Records America division. Named to her current position at Motown in September 2004, she is responsible for the Motown label, in addition to all projects under the Universal Music Group family of labels, which is part of the international conglomerate Vivendi Universal. In1996, she led a fundraising benefit to help rebuild churches destroyed by fire.

Desiree G. Rogers, Corp. Sr. VP, / President, Peoples Energy Corp. / Peoples Gas & North Shore, Age: 45, At Peoples Energy of Chicago, Rogers helps keep residents of the Windy City warm. She is responsible for the utilities’ field operations, customer service functions, and gas supply management. Rogers was named to her current position in July 2004. A graduate of Harvard Business School, Rogers joined Peoples Energy in 1997 as vice president of corporate communications, and in 2000 she was named chief marketing officer. Peoples Gas and North Shore Gas reported $142 million in operating income in fiscal year 2004 out of a total operating income of $171 million. In 2003, Peoples Energy generated $2.1 billion in revenues. Before joining Peoples Energy, Rogers was the director of the Illinois Lottery. She currently serves on the co
rporate board of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.

Cathy D. Ross, Senior Vice President & Chief Financial Officer, Federal Express Corp., Age: 47, FedEx Express is the largest subsidiary of FedEx Corp. and the largest express courier, delivering about 3 million packages a day worldwide and generating $17.3 billion in sales. Since February 2004, Ross has served as the company’s financial chief, but in recent years she has played a pivotal role in FedEx Express’ successful efforts to expand its global reach, increase profitability, and keep the company competitive as it battles carriers such as UPS and DHL. Ross, who holds an M.B.A. from the University of Memphis, joined FedEx in 1984 as a senior financial analyst and served as vice president of express financial planning. With annual revenues of $23 billion, FedEx is a global leader in providing transportation, e-commerce, and supply chain management services.

Debra A. Sandler, Worldwide Group Vice President, McNeil Nutritionals, Age: 44, Sandler is responsible for the global marketing of the company’s products, including Splenda, Viactiv, Lactaid, and Benecol, in addition to branding and driving on a global scale many of the company’s new products. She leads McNeil Nutritionals’ North American


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