In honor of Black History Month we’re celebrating some of the most innovative and famous leaders who changed the business world for the better.
#1: Oprah Winfrey
This billionaire beauty is one of the most famous of all-time and one of the highest paid. She revolutionized daytime talk shows with The Oprah Winfrey Show which aired for a whopping 25 seasons. Not to mention, she’s one of the most celebrated businesspeople in the world with a magazine, television station, production company and a hand in radio and acting on her list of successes.
#2: Michael Jordan
The #23 Chicago Bulls player and champion not only won at the game of basketball but he also changed the way that people buy basketball shoes. His famous shoes outsell those of other stars despite the fact that he’s been out of the game for over a decade. He’s also purchased a majority stake in the NBA Charlotte Hornets, making him the second African American majority owner in of an NBA franchise.
#3: Ursula Burns
In 2009, Ursula Burns made history by becoming the first African American in history to become a CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Starting as a summer intern with Xerox in 1980 and working her way to the top, she’s a history maker that’s since made major acquisitions.
#4: Russell Simmons
This entrepreneur has the golden touch. He co-founded Def Jam Recordings which focuses predominantly on hip-hop and urban music. Current artists include Kanye West, Big Sean, and Jeezy. In addition, he’s created clothing lines Phat Farm, Argyleculture, and Tantris.
#5: Kenneth Frazier
Making waves in the pharmaceutical industry and business community alike, Frazier was the first African American CEO of a pharmaceutical company, Merck & Co. Under his leadership, the company had the first dividend increase in several years after he refused to cut research and development.