Five Top African American CEOs


African Americans are underrepresented in the highest levels of society. But when they do get a representation, they almost make up for all of those who didn’t have that opportunity. Two examples are President Obama, who heads our country, and Oprah Winfrey, arguably the most powerful woman in the word. African Americans are at the helm of some of the most important companies in this country, and they deserve all the recognition they can get. Let’s, therefore, take a look at some of them.

  1. Jan Adams, JMA Solutions

JMA Solutions was founded by Jan Adams in 2005, after she had served in the United States Air Force for 24 years. She had a singular vision that allowed her company to grow at unprecedented speed. In 2012, JMA Solutions ranked #125 in the Inc. Magazine 5000. It also took up the #1 position for Washington DC companies. JMA Solutions provides IT services, financial management, concept engineering, IT systems, and program management, focusing specifically on the federal government.

  1. Joseph B. Anderson, TAG Holdings, LLC

Anderson previously worked as an executive at General Motors. He then took up the position of CEO at TAG Holdings, based in Troy, MA. Some of his subsidiaries include ceramic makers, warehouse services, and automobile wheel assembly in China and Korea. TAG Holdings exceeded $700 million in revenue in 2011.

  1. William Bailey, Rapier Solutions

Bailey is another army veteran. In 2002, he founded Rapier Solutions, a Matthews, NC IT company. He ranked #139 in the Inc. Magazine 5000 in 2012. In 2011, his company had a revenue of $3.6 million.

  1. Oprah Winfrey, Oprah Winfrey Network

Oprah Winfrey, as mentioned previously, is arguably the most powerful woman on the planet. Wearing potato sacks as a child and relentlessly bullied for her poverty, she was told, after completing a journalism degree, that she would never have a TV presence. She proved them wrong and is now an integral part of daily life for millions. She is the CEO of the Oprah Winfrey Network, which is a combination of Discovery Communications and Harpo Productions (which she started). Oprah is believed to be worth some $2.8 billion and is 168th richest person in the world. She was featured on the cover of Forbes Magazine, together with Warren Buffet and Bill Gates in September 2012.

  1. Charles Phillips, Infor

Charles Phillips is yet another military veteran. He is someone with a vision, and who knows how to get it. While serving in the U.S. Air Force, he completed a BS in Computer Science. He then became Captain in the U.S. Marine Corps and completed an MBA, as well as a JD. From there, he moved on to Wall Street and grew to Managing Director of Morgan Stanley. He then become President of Oracle before resigning to become CEO of Infor. In his own words, Infor is the ‘largest start up in the world’. Under Charles Phillips Infor has grown to the third strongest company of its kind, after SAP and, interestingly, Oracle.


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