African Americans have been the backbone of this country for hundreds of years. Due to years of oppression, however, this has never been recognized. It is time for this to change, however, with so many truly shaping the world of today. Let’s take a look at the most influential African American leaders in this country.
- Charles Phillips, Infor
Charles Phillips Infor CEO started his career in the U.S. Air Force, moving on to U.S. Marine Corps Captain. He then became involved in Wall Street, rising through the ranks until he reached managing director at Morgan Stanley. From there, he was handpicked as President of Oracle, a position he resigned from in 2010 to become CEO of Infor. Infor, a relatively unknown company at that time, is now the third largest of its kind, competing directly with SAP and Oracle. Under Phillips’ leadership, Infor is changing the way businesses handle their computer requirements and interfaces and Infor now has a presence in a huge range of different industries.
- Earvin Johnson, Magic Johnson Enterprises
Earvin Johnson is better known as Magic Johnson, the basketball player. He recently purchased a state in the Los Angeles Dodgers at a $50 million price tag. He also owns Magic Johnson Enterprises, which in turn owns health clubs, restaurants, and movie theaters nationwide. They have recently also started to look at real estate development. Magic Johnson Enterprises was worth $700 million in 2012.
- Robert L. Johnson, The RLJ Companies
Johnson, named after the world’s best known blues players, previously headed BET (Black Entertainment Television), before it was acquired by Viacom. However, it seemed that Johnson didn’t lose his influence after that acquisition, as he quickly founded The RLJ Companies, which is a firm involved in asset management, focusing specifically on underserved and undiscovered markets. Johnson’s real funds are worth some $2 billion in combined assets, and he also has a further $4 billion in purchasing power.
- Kamoru Lawal, CAMAC
CAMAC Energy NYSECAK is a company that operates out of Houston and is involved in oil and gas, focusing on production, development, and exploration. It was founded in 1986 and is now headed by Nigerian born Kamoru Lawal, who was raised in America. The company now operates in both China and Nigeria and was worth some $1.5 billion in 2010.
- Alex and Feysan Lodde, MV Transportation, Inc.
Alex and Feysan Lodde are husband and wife, operating out of Fairfield, CA. Their MV Transportation, Inc. is the largest privately held contracting firm for passenger transportation. The company was formed in 1975 and it surpassed $700 million in value in 2010.
These are just some of the examples of African Americans who are shaping the world today. They are African Americans who are showing the world that anything can be achieved through innovation and hard work, and by embracing change. They have not allowed their skin color to be a barrier towards their success. While many do philanthropic work in African American communities, their focus is not so much on their own race, but rather on their achievements.