'Someone Saw the Hustle in Me,' Diddy Promotes Deon Graham to Chief Brand Officer of Combs Enterprises
Photo Credit: Darryl Omar

'Someone Saw the Hustle in Me,' Diddy Promotes Deon Graham to Chief Brand Officer of Combs Enterprises

The phrase, “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop,” was a manifestation uttered by Sean “Diddy” Combs in the ’90s that has continued to allow him to soar to new heights.

When he isn’t revolutionizing the world of media through his television network REVOLT, he’s continuing to build his brands that fall under Combs Enterprises.

Just as he has an eye for talented artists, Diddy continues to prove that he has an eye for hungry go-getters like Deon Graham who has been appointed to Chief Brand Officer of Combs Enterprises.

“‘Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop’ is a fundamental part of our ethos at Combs Enterprises. In the Bad Boy tradition, we are relentless and will not be outworked,” said Combs Enterprises President, Tarik Brooks in an email interview with AfroTech. “We approach every situation knowing that there’s a solution, we just need to find it. The people who thrive here are competitive, enjoy working hard, and believe in the power of teamwork.”

Graham’s rise spurred from a nightlife website that he founded in the early 2000s that ultimately caught the attention of Diddy prior to him joining Combs Enterprises full-time in 2015.

Since then, Diddy has watched Graham continue to grow into the savvy, gritty forward-thinking executive that he is today, making his appointment a no-brainer.

As the company’s chief brand officer, Graham will lead marketing for everything associated with the mogul.

“Everything we do is rooted in truth and authenticity, and the truth is we are the culture,” Graham told AfroTech via email. “For years, Combs Enterprises has represented the culture not only by Puff being a leader and advocate for our community but also through creating an inclusive team of executives, creatives, and staff. We want to continue to be an example of a successful Black-owned company that opens doors, provides opportunities, and highlights our people.”

Brands made for the culture, by the culture — like CÎROC —  are the driving force at Combs Enterprises. VP of Global Marketing Spirits at Combs Enterprises, Ingrid Best says she’s proud to work alongside Graham.

“I am so proud to work alongside Deon Graham — he has been with Mr. Combs the longest out of anyone on the team currently so that comes with a wealth of knowledge,” said Best via email. “Deon was one of the key people who embraced me wholeheartedly when I joined Combs Enterprises. Shortly after I joined the organization, we worked together on the CÎROC brand integration into Swizz Beatz and Timbaland’s Verzuz platform. He was instrumental in this win early in my tenure with Combs Enterprises.”

At a company that continues to strive for excellence across the board, Graham says authenticity is key.

“For me it starts with being authentic to who I am first. I walk in the room being 100% myself,” continued Graham. “I pay close attention to everyone I work with or hire to make sure they feel the same. It’s important to me to give opportunities to people that wouldn’t normally get a chance at this level. I was given a shot and on paper, I didn’t have the education or experience others did, but someone saw the hustle in me. “

A hustle that won’t be stopping anytime soon as Diddy is also providing a new taste of summer with a limited-edition, new CÎROC flavor. Best says that although she’s worked in the industry over nearly two decades for several major spirits companies, she’s never seen anything like what Combs Enterprises is doing, especially when it comes to diversity. 

“Combs Enterprises is changing that narrative and reality. I look forward to continuing to work with the Combs Enterprises’ executive team to bring even more Black and Brown professionals into this exciting industry so we can have more people who look like the consumers working for and making decisions on behalf of the brand,” Best said.

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