This post was originally published on St. Louis American
According to Forbes, there will be a record number of Black CEOs running Fortune 500 companies this year.
Black Enterprise reported that Chris Womack has been named the next CEO of utility giant Southern Company, the first Black person to sit in that seat. Southern Company supports nine million customers and businesses nationwide with electric utilities in three states and natural gas distribution utilities in four, and provides wholesale energy, customized distributed energy solutions and fiber optics and wireless communications across the country.
Days prior to the announcement, Calvin Butler got the job for CEO of Exelon Corporation, largest electric parent company in the United States. Exelon is the nation’s largest utility company, serving more than 10 million customers through six fully regulated transmission and distribution utilities.
Black Enterprise also noted that several other Blacks became CEOs of Fortune 500 companies in the last few years:
Lloyd Yates became CEO of utility NiSource last year. NiSource Inc. is one of the largest fully regulated utility companies in the United States, serving approximately 3.5 million natural gas customers and 500,000 electric customers across six states through its local Columbia Gas and NIPSCO brands
Rosalind (Roz) Brewer joined Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. as CEO in March 2021. She also is a Director on WBA’s Board. Ms. Brewer most recently served as Chief Operating Officer and Group President at Starbucks from October 2017 to January 2021. Prior to Starbucks, she served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Sam’s Club,
Marvin Ellison became chairman, president and chief executive officer of Lowe’s Companies Inc., a FORTUNE® 50 home improvement company with more than 2,200 stores and approximately 300,000 associates in the United States and Canada. Prior to joining Lowe’s, Marvin served as chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney Co.
René F. Jones became chairman and chief executive officer of M&T Bank, a diversified, community-focused banking franchise with $200 billion in assets and a network of 1,000+ branches across the eastern U.S.
Craig Arnold is chairman and chief executive officer of Eaton, a power management company doing business in more than 175 countries.
Frank Clyburn has served as CEO of International Flavors and Fragrances since 2022. Previously he held the role of executive vice president and president of human health for Merck & Co.