The Most Powerful African Americans In Corporate America - Page 5 of 24

The Most Powerful African Americans In Corporate America

significant market share growth under his leadership. Prior to Seagram’s, Horton held key executive positions at General Foods, Xerox Corp., and Heublein.

Alwyn Lewis, Chief Executive Officer / President,, Sears Retail / Sears Holdings, Age: 50, When Kmart Holding Corp. merged with Sears Holdings in November 2004, Lewis became the No. 3 man in the company and CEO of Sears Retail. A month earlier, Lewis had been appointed CEO of Kmart, the $26 billion retail company and employer of more than 200,000. The merger is expected to create the third largest retailer in the country, generating an estimated $55 billion in annual revenues. Lewis’ stock as a corporate executive is skyrocketing. He was recruited from YUM! Brands, where he was president and chief multibranding and operating officer. The Texas native has been a corporate executive for 26 years. Lewis, who received dual bachelor’s degrees in business management and English literature as well as an M.B.A. from the University of Houston, first cut his teeth as a district manager of operations with the Jack in the Box restaurant chain.

Renetta McCann, Chief Executive Officer, Starcom Americas, Age: 46, McCann supervises the largest unit of Starcom MediaVest Group, a subsidiary of French media company Publicis, and one of the world’s leading media agencies. Her division operates in the U.S., Canada, and Latin America. McCann is responsible for four media brands-Starcom, MediaVest, GM Planworks, and StarLink. Some of her greatest accomplishments include doubling her staff to a total of more than 600 and snagging the Walt Disney World account, which was worth $600 million. In 2000, McCann was credited with empowering her staff to perform so well that Starcom North America had two consecutive years of 20% growth. Two years ago, under her leadership, Starcom boasted $4.6 billion in billings. The Chicago native’s team of employees maintains the lowest turnover rate in the industry-a testament to her ability to grow talent.

Clarence Otis Jr., Chief Executive Officer, Darden Restaurants, Age: 48, When Otis worked as a waiter to help pay his way through Stanford University Law School, little did he know that one day he would control some of the largest restaurant chains in the world. Named to the post in December 2004, Otis is CEO of Darden Restaurants, which owns and operates Red Lobster, Olive Garden, Seasons 52, Bahama Breeze, and Smokey Bones BBQ & Grill. The seasoned executive runs a mammoth operation with more than 1,300 outlets and 140,000 employees who serve 300 million meals a year. Otis was part of the leadership that helped Darden make the transition from an operating division to a stand-alone company when it was spun off from General Mills in 1995. He says his job is one of talent management-picking the right people to handle details. Otis focuses on the big picture: maintaining Darden’s position as a global leader in the casual dining industry and keeping competitors such as Outback Steakhouse, Apple
bee’s, and Chili’s from chomping into its market share. Despite earning a mouthwatering $231 million on $5 billion