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How Marvin Ellison, One Of The World's Wealthiest Black CEOs, Saw His Stock Market Value Increase By $3.4M In Less Than A Month

Marvin Ellison, one of the world’s wealthiest Black CEOs, is celebrating a multi-million-dollar financial triumph.

Feb 15, 2024

Golde's Trinity Mouzon Wofford Is Shifting The Narrative Of What It Takes To Be A Successful CEO

Golde’s co-founder and CEO Trinity Mouzon Wofford’s entrepreneurial path has always been about calling shots on her own terms. Whether it be daringly reaching out to fellow entrepreneurs or standing firm in letting her brand grow naturally, she always goes with her gut. While her initial decision to not take venture capital wasn’t one that she describes as being backed by consciousness, it’s a move that demonstrates how trusting the process can be just as effective. As a young Black female CEO a part of a group that isn’t typically embraced by investors, the way her business unfolded ultimately worked in her favor. Not having to focus on the ins and out of the investing world allowed her to flip the narrative on its head of the effects of someone of her background being shut out of the space. It’s following the beat of her own drum that has landed Golde in the stores of big-name retailers such as Sephora and Target. View this post on Instagram A post shared by GOLDE (@golde)...

Feb 21, 2022

Black Girls Code CEO Kimberly Bryant Makes A Statement After Being Placed On Leave

Earlier last week, the unprecedented announcement of Black Girls Code CEO and founder Kimberly Bryant being removed as the nonprofit’s head came in as a shock to the tech community. Kimberly Bryant alerted the public about the breaking news with a “press release” on Twitter. “Press release: So it’s 3 days before Christmas and you wake up to discover the organization YOU created and built from the ground up has been taken away by a rogue board with no notification,” Bryant wrote via Twitter. Press release: so it’s 3 days before Christmas and you wake up to discover the organization YOU created and built from the ground up has been taken away by a rogue board with no notification. VC: @BlackGirlsCode — kimberlybryant.eth (@6Gems) December 21, 2021 The tweet caused an uproar from her counterparts and followers who wanted to learn more details of the indefinite suspension and how to support Bryant. Recently, Bryant shared a statement with TechCrunch to further clear the air.

Dec 29, 2021

After Clarence Bethea Used Silicon Valley Naysayers As Motivation, His Startup Closed An $18.2M Funding Round

As the founder and CEO at Upsie, Clarence Bethea has the magic sauce when it comes to securing funding. During the latest episode of AfroTech’s Black Tech Green Money (BTGM), he shares how he managed to raise an $18.2 million funding round thanks to his perseverance. He also breaks down what Silicon Valley looks like for Black companies and founders — an experience that surely came with lessons. “I remember we had like 80 Silicon Valley investors there and it was a hard lesson for me to learn,” he shared about one particular experience with the Village Capital program. “They didn’t give a damn about me and it was clear that I meant nothing to them. I was just a Black guy in the room.” Clarence Bethea also recalls a sobering experience with an investor during his time in the program. “I actually had an investor say to me, ‘Clarence, I’ve never seen a Black founder go to exit or IPO at like a billion-plus exit. So, I just have a hard time believing that a Black founder can build a big...

Sep 7, 2021

Pharrell Williams' Black Ambition Names Felecia Hatcher As New CEO

Longtime local innovator Felecia Hatcher — a serial entrepreneur and champion for minority tech business-owners — is reportedly stepping down from her role at Miami’s Center for Black Innovation to lead Black Ambition — a nonprofit organization founded by Grammy-winning artist Pharrell Williams, Bizwomen shares. Black Ambition — a new venture recently launched this past December — was created in hopes of funding projects and companies led by Black and Hispanic entrepreneurs. “Excited to finally be able to announce that I have accepted a role as CEO of Black Ambition a bold vision founded by Pharrell Williams to connect Black & Latinx and HBCU startup founders to unprecedented capital and access through prize competitions,” she wrote in a Facebook post. “Excited to lead this! Excited to be in a position to directly fund founders. The best part….although a nationally-focused organization we will be based in Miami. Excited for the journey ahead.” Hatcher is well-known for being a...

May 24, 2021

Former MoviePass CEO Stacy Spikes Says PreShow Is Another Idea 'Whose Time Has Come'

Starting a business in the middle of a pandemic is a scary proposition, but PreShow founder and CEO Stacy Spikes was completely unfazed. “Where others may have seen problems, I saw opportunities,” he told AfroTech. “I’m not going to lie and say it was easy — but I will certainly say that I knew that what I had was an idea whose time had come. But, I will also say that I had to pivot, slightly, from my original plan for PreShow.” Getting his start as a film marketing executive and producer, Spikes first made headlines when he became the co-founder and CEO of MoviePass. In theory, MoviePass’s idea was a simple, and welcome, one: pay a monthly subscription fee, see as many movies in the theaters as you’d like. In 2012, MoviePass upped the ante by activating proprietary location-based payment technology, which allowed users to pay for their tickets in a safe and secure way — another idea that was, in fact, before its time. So it’s no surprise that PreShow, too, has the same visionary...

Black-Led ExecOnline Secured $45M To Further Develop Its Online Executive Educational Programs

Aligned with some major growth plans, New York-based ExecOnline closed a $45 million Series D funding round. Co-founded in 2012 by Stephen Bailey, Mark Ozer, Barry Goldberg, and Julia Alexander, ExecOnline provides executive education programs and training solutions certified by educational institutions. The company partners with business schools around the world to bring democratized access to leadership development at large companies. “We feel like we have a differentiated and compelling story having pioneered this space,” The company’s CEO Bailey told AfroTech in an interview. “We hopefully want to create awareness that there is a new way to develop leaders that can create much more equity outcomes at organizations.” This latest funding round was led by OMERS Growth Equity with participation from previous investors including Kaplan, Osage Ventures, NewSpring and ABS Capital Partners. ExecOnline plans to use the Series D to further develop its online platform, expand its...

Apr 21, 2021

OkayMedia Taps Award-Winning CNN Veteran Anchor Isha Sesay as First Woman CEO

New York-based multimedia organization OkayMedia — whose mission is dedicated to elevating Black culture and amplifying Black voices — has tapped former CNN International anchor Isha Sesay as its first-ever female CEO. According to Variety, Sesay will oversee the company’s digital publications, Okayplayer — the progressive music site founded by The Roots member Questlove — and OkayAfrica — the website dedicated to all things African culture, music, and politics. She will also serve on OkayMedia’s board of directors, alongside Sam Hendel — co-founder of Dataminr — and Shawn Gee — president of Live Nation Urban and manager of The Roots. Additionally, she has also been named co-founder and CEO of OkayMedia’s latest production arm, SPKN/WRD, which aims to bring “fresh perspectives to the forefront, across feature films, documentaries, television, podcasting, and publishing,” according to the company. Some personal news… 👏🏾 Former CNN journalist @IshaSesay joins OkayMedia as new CEO....

Mar 31, 2021

Meet the CEO of Winston Engineering Inc, the Only Black-Owned MEP Firm on the West Coast

Anthony Winston III wanted to make a positive impact within the construction industry while also having the ability to spend more time with his family. With that in mind, he created Winston Engineering Inc, a minority-owned business specializing in the design of Mechanical, Electricial, & Plumbing (MEP) Engineering for residential & commercial buildings. Winston’s hard work and dedication have made his firm the only minority-owned MEP business on the West Coast, but it wasn’t easy to do. “My story is fairly similar to a lot of my peers growing up. Not having a father around as much and dealing with broken promises has turned me into the driven individual I am today. I am fiercely loyal and somewhat obsessed with sticking to my word,” he told AfroTech. “Luckily this trend is no longer the case since Black dads – whether they live with their children or not, are more actively involved in their children’s lives than their counterparts of other races.” Despite all of that, he overcame...

10 Black Techpreneurs and Tech Execs to Celebrate

In honor of Black History Month, we here at AfroTech, wish to recognize the efforts of Black scientists, technologists, and entrepreneurs. Throughout history, Black American accomplishments have revolutionized not only our country but the world at large. While there are many more, here are 28 Black pioneers in science, technology, and business today you should know about: Asmau Ahmed, Founder of PlumPerfect     View this post on Instagram   A post shared by The Next IT Girl (@thenextitgirl_) Asmau Ahmed is a Senior Strategist that has led corporate strategy and digital innovation for established and emergent organizations in a number of industries including financial services, and consumer retail.  She thrives on identifying and growing (digital) companies that have the power to transform the way everyday people do everyday things. With experience in both corporate and entrepreneurial leadership, she has honed her skills in assessing the business viability and risk profile and in...

Feb 9, 2021

This CEO is Behind Over $100M Allocated to Black-Owned Businesses and HBCUs

The support for HBCUs and Black-led businesses has been at an all-time high this year, and more companies and entrepreneurs are stepping up to be reliable assets for funding. Recently, Maurice Jones — President and CEO of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) — helped donate over $100 million to Black-owned businesses and HBCUs through public and private funding, Shoppe Black reports . So far, Jones and LISC have been able to source $25 million from Netflix, $60 million from Lowe’s, $40 million from Jeff Bezos’ ex-wife, MacKenzie Scott, Black Business reports . As stated by Jones, LISC is a community development finance organization that provides access to capital, grants, loans, equity investments, tax credit equity, affordable housing, and technical assistance to places like schools, healthcare centers, and organized groups. LISC uses their services to “catalyze opportunities with the real focus on underserved and communities of color.” According to Jones , LISC...

Aug 4, 2020

Lowe's Announces $25M Grant Fund to Support the Re-Opening of Small Black Businesses

Lowe’s CEO, Marvin Ellison, announced that the home improvement company will do its part in helping reboot the American economy by allocating $25 million in grants to small businesses owned by people of color. The fund aims to assist in the re-opening of businesses owned by people of color that were affected by the COVID-19 shutdown. “These are going to be minority businesses and other businesses that are now starting to reopen,” Ellison told CNBC’s Mad Money . “So we just want to continue to not only run a good business but also be a great corporate citizen in all of the communities that we operate in.” Earlier this year, Lowe’s also provided a $25 million fund to aid in the fight against the pandemic in which $10 million went to providing medical frontline workers with Person Protective Equipment (PPE). According to Black Enterprise , Ellison became CEO of Lowe’s in 2018 making him one of only four Black CEOs of a Fortune 500 company.  Ellison believes in the small businesses of...

Jun 10, 2020

This 28-Year-Old Just Made History as the First Black CEO at a Major Tech Firm

Adam Roosevelt adds yet another lofty title to his resume — CEO at 28. According to Black Enterprise , the Virginia native is a combat veteran having served two tours in Afghanistan and a term in NATO. He is also a politician who ran against and unfortunately lost to Democratic incumbent Alfonso Lopez for the 49th District of the House of Delegates in 2017. Plus, he also served as a contractor in cybersecurity and intelligence at the Department of Homeland Security. Roosevelt has since turned his sights on environmental health and technologies as he was just chosen to be not only the first CEO but the first Black CEO of SEM North America. “This business opportunity brings Adam Roosevelt as one of the few African American pioneers of eco-friendly environmental solutions that will disrupt multiple industries around North America and around the globe,” COO and founder Leslie Grant told Black Business . Founded in 2016, by Grant and John Jones, SEM aims to work with customers in the...

May 27, 2020

Here are the Black Billionaires Who Made the 2020 Forbes List

Forbes recently released its 2020 World’s Billionaires List ranking billionaires according to their net worth. While some billionaires remain on top, others saw their ranking drop drastically from the previous year. The list — finalized on March 18 — features 2,095 billionaires. Here are the Black billionaires that made the list representing various countries around the world. Aliko Dangote JEWEL SAMAD/AFP via Getty Images The cement and sugar manufacturing guru from Nigeria landed at No. 162 with a net worth of $8.3 billion. He is not only Africa’s richest man but the world’s richest Black man. As the CEO and founder of Africa’s largest cement producer, Dangote Cement. At 62-years-old, Dangote owns 85 percent of the publicly-traded company. Mike Adenuga Twitter Adenuga is the second richest man in Africa. He ranks at No. 286 with a net worth of $5.6 billion. He secured his wealth through oil and telecom endeavors. At 66-years-old, Adenuga’s mobile communications company, Globacom,...

Apr 14, 2020

From Receptionist to CEO: Ramona Hood Appointed as FedEx's First Black CEO

Ramona Hood has been named president and CEO of FedEx Custom Critical, making her the first African American to hold the position in the company’s history. According to Commercial Appeal , Hood transitions into her role as CEO after serving as vice president of operations, strategy, and planning for FedEx Custom Critical. However, her initial position at FedEx was that of a receptionist. In 1991, as a 19-year-old single mother in search of a full-time job, Hood started her career at FedEx, previously known as Roberts Express. “I just wanted a schedule that would be consistent,” Hood told The Commercial Appeal. As CEO of the company, Hood wants to use technology to address customer’s shipment needs by “looking at things in ways we haven’t in the past.” Hood’s rise to the top was far from a fluke, but intentional on the part of the receptionist turned CEO. She explains her ability to climb the ladder was due to being “pretty intentional and purposeful with gaining experience” during...

Feb 28, 2020