Home » Six Black executives leading America’s top 500 companies in 2022

Six Black executives leading America’s top 500 companies in 2022

by Mfonobong Nsehe
Roz Brewer

As efforts to achieve both racial and gender equality progressed around the world, several corporations made significant strides in boosting minority participation in boardrooms by employing Black CEOs and gradually expanding minority representation in C-suite roles.

This progress comes as Black professionals provide guidance and instruction to companies on how to diversify their workforces to increase minority participation in the United States to the greatest extent possible as part of the move to increase representation to a proportionate number of Black executives and leaders in the general population.

Despite years of raising awareness about the absence of black individuals in boardrooms, and recent initiatives to increase minority representation in C-suite roles, Black executives lead only approximately one percent of all companies on the Fortune 500 list.

For context, the Fortune 500 list is an annual list published by Fortune magazine. The list ranks 500 of the biggest corporations in the United States based on total revenue in a fiscal year. In the history of the Fortune 500, there have only been 22 Black CEOs out of 1,800.

With six Black chief executives on the Fortune 500, accounting for little more than one percent of companies in the 2022 ranking, a significant increase from the four on the list in 2021, it is critical to know who these individuals are.

#1 Rosalind “Roz” Brewer

CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance

Roz Brewer, the highest-ranking Black CEO on the Fortune 500 list — and one of only two Black women on the list – spent nearly 20 years in leadership and executive capacities at Kimberly-Clark, Starbucks, and Walmart.

Brewer’s net worth was estimated to be around $5 million prior to her appointment as CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance in 2021, based on her stock trades and Starbucks pay.

#2 Marvin Ellison

CEO of Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

Marvin Ellison, the former chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney, is the only Black CEO to have led two Fortune 500 companies.

Ellison is one of America’s leading retail executives, serving as chairman and CEO of Lowe’s Companies Inc., a Fortune 50 home improvement company with over 2,200 stores and approximately 300,000 associates in the United States and Canada.

#3 Thasunda Brown Duckett


After succeeding Roger Ferguson as president and chief executive officer of TIAA in May 2021, American businesswoman Thasunda Brown Duckett became the fourth Black woman to lead a Fortune 500 company

Prior to joining TIAA in 2021, Duckett was the chief executive at JPMorgan Chase Consumer Banking.

#4 Robert Reffkin

Founder and CEO of Compass 

Robert Reffkin, an African American businessman who co-founded and now serves as CEO of the online real estate company Compass, Inc., is one of America’s top leaders in the real estate brokerage market.

Compass brokers have executed more than $300 billion in sales for more than 275,000 homebuyers and sellers since the business’s inception ten years ago.

After going public in 2021 with an $8.22 billion valuation, investors are now counting on Reffkin’s ability to make Compass profitable in the coming years. Compass’ revenue exceeded $6.4 billion last year.

#5 David Rawlinson 

CEO of Qurate Retail Group

David Rawlinson is the CEO of Qurate Retail Group, an American media conglomerate that also owns shopping television networks QVC, HSN, and Zulily.

Rawlinson was president and CEO-elect of Qurate Retail, Inc., from Aug. 1 to Sept. 30, 2021, before becoming CEO of Qurate in October 2021.

He joined Qurate Retail from NielsenIQ, where he was CEO and oversaw the company’s transition to new ownership.

#6 Frank Clyburn 

CEO of International Flavors and Fragrances

After being named CEO of IFF (International Flavors and Fragrances) in February 2022, African-American businessman Frank Clyburn became the newest and 22nd member of the black Fortune 500 CEO club this year.

Clyburn established his career on meaningful execution, which he demonstrated at Merck & Co. (Merck). He created one of the world’s leading cancer businesses and the company’s largest while at Merck.

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