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Thasunda Brown Duckett to lead TIAA, becoming second Black woman CEO of Fortune 500 company

Thasunda Brown Duckett to lead TIAA, becoming second Black woman CEO of Fortune 500 company

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Thasunda Brown Duckett to lead TIAA, becoming second Black woman CEO of Fortune 500 company

Jessica Guynn
 
| USA TODAY
Corporate racism: Not enough Black executives in American businessesCompanies across the country have been speaking out against racism, but less than 2% of top executives at 50 largest companies are Black.USA TODAYTeachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America named JPMorgan Chase’s Thasunda Brown Duckett as CEO, the second Black woman tapped this year to lead a Fortune 500 company.Starbucks executive Rosalind Brewer was appointed last month to helm Walgreens.The Fortune 500 has been without a Black woman CEO since Ursula Burns left Xerox in 2016.One of Wall Street’s highest-profile Black executives, Duckett runs consumer banking at JP Morgan Chase, overseeing 4,900 branches, more than $600 billion in deposits and 40,000 employees. She has also led efforts to close the wealth gap between white and Black Americans.Later this year, Duckett will succeed TIAA CEO Roger W. Ferguson Jr., who is one of five Black CEOs in the Fortune 500. She is TIAA’s first female CEO and its third Black CEO.Her appointment is also making waves in the Fortune 500. She is the third Black woman to be a full-time Fortune 500 CEO. Mary Winston served as interim CEO of Bed, Bath & Beyond.Black in corporate America: Black Dollar Index ranks companies by support of Black AmericansGood ol’ boys meet black girl magic: Black women entrepreneurs are changing Silicon Valley“I have so much gratitude for all the shoulders I stand on,” Duckett said in an Instagram post.After nationwide protests over the police killing of George Floyd, corporations have come under growing pressure from employees, investors and activists to diversify their leadership bench, but gains have been slow and the ranks of those who occupy the corner office are thinning. The number of Black CEOs declined over the last five years as Black CEOs step down. Last month, Ken Frazier announced his retirement as CEO of pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co.Jide Zeitlin resigned as CEO of Tapestry Inc., the parent company of Coach and Kate Spade, last year. Ken Chenault left American Express in 2018. All three were succeeded by white executives.  The executive suite is still one of America’s most exclusive and impenetrable clubs. A USA TODAY analysis found that less than 2% of top executives at the nation’s 50 largest companies are Black.


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