- Jide Zeitlin has stepped down as CEO of fashion holding company Tapestry, owner of Coach, Kate Spade, and Stuart Weitzman.
- That means there are now only three Black CEOs in the Fortune 500.
- They are: Kenneth Frazier of pharmaceutical company Merck & Co.;Marvin Ellison of home improvement retailer Lowe’s; and Roger Ferguson, Jr. of insurance company TIAA.
- Corporate America has long struggled with diversity, particularly in the C-suite.
- Meanwhile, only two Black women have ever led an S&P 500 company: Ursula Burns, CEO of Xerox from 2009 to 2016, and Mary Winston, the interim CEO of Bed Bath & Beyond for six months in 2019.
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On July 21, citing “personal reasons,” Jide Zeitlin stepped down as CEO of fashion holding company Tapestry, Evan Clark of WWD reported. Zeitlin was appointed CEO of Tapestry in September of 2019 and was in the position for less than a year. He had been part of Tapestry’s board of directors since 2006, and chairman of the board since 2014. Joanne Crevoiserat, Tapestry’s chief financial officer, has now been named interim CEO.
Zeitlin is also the founder of private investment firm Keffi Group, which he founded in 2006. Before that, he spent 20 years working at Goldman Sachs, where he held various positions, including global chief operating officer of the investment banking businesses.
Following his departure, there are now only three Black Fortune 500 Ceos: Kenneth Frazier of pharmaceutical company Merck & Co.; Marvin Ellison of home improvement retailer Lowe’s; and Roger Ferguson, Jr. of insurance company TIAA. This number is down from seven less than a decade earlier.
Furthermore, there are still no Black women serving as a Fortune 500 CEO. Only two Black women have ever led a Fortune 500 company. The first was Ursula Burns, who served as CEO of Xerox from 2009 until 2016, and as chairwoman from 2010 to 2017.
The second Black woman on the list was Mary Winston who, in May 2019, became the interim CEO of Bed Bath & Beyond. She only held the position until November of that year, when she was replaced by Mark Tritton, a white man.
The Centre for Talent Innovation’s “Being Black in Corporate America” report, released in late 2018, found that Black people account for only 3.2% of senior leadership roles at large corporations, and hold just 0.8% of Fortune 500 CEO positions. The study also found an overall lack of mentorship and access to senior leaders.
Keep scrolling to learn about the three Black men currently at the top of the corporate ranks.
Roger Ferguson Jr.
Company:TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America).
Year appointed: 2008
Before joining TIAA in April 2008, Ferguson was head of Swiss Re, an insurance company. From 1984 to 1997, he was also an Associate and Partner at the prestigious consulting firm McKinsey. Ferguson was also previously vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the US Federal Reserve System.
Company:Merck & Co., a pharmaceutical company
Year appointed: 2011
Frazier joined Merck & Co. in 1992, and various positions, including general counsel and president. Before joining the company, he had been a partner with Drinker Biddle & Reath, a Philadelphia-based law firm.
Company:Lowe’s, a retail home improvement store
Year appointed: 2018
As Áine Cain of Business Insider previously reported, Ellison started his career as a part-time security guard at a Target in Memphis, earning $US4.35 an hour. He spent 15 years rising through the ranks, and moved to Home Depot in 2002, ultimately being promoted to executive vice president of US stores in 2008. He held that position until until he became the CEO of JC Penney in 2015. In 2018, he became CEO of Lowe’s.
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