Black C-suite marketing executives launch new alliance

CMOs from PetSmart, ViacomCBS, Prudential Financial and Amazon form new organization.

Twenty-six Black marketing leaders from the world’s most iconic brands and companies founded Black Executive CMO Alliance (BECA), an alliance designed to champion diversity at the corporate leadership level. The founding members joined forces under one banner determined to help build the next generation of C-suite marketing executives by offering their expertise to those in need.


“Many of our founding members, like me, have worked incredibly hard throughout their careers to achieve positions of leadership and quickly realized that ‘few others look like them’,” said Jerri DeVard, BECA founder and Fortune 100 CMO and board director. “I created this Alliance of Black marketing executives because it didn’t exist and is so desperately needed. BECA will challenge the corporate diversity gap and change the census by mentoring and building the pipeline of talented Black executives who will follow in our footsteps.”

The alliance serves as a vibrant forum for member Black marketing executives to share, learn, elevate and pay it forward to create opportunity, access, and change by establishing mentorship programs, first-hand executive exposure, and coaching. It will also include identifying career paths and skill opportunities to grow the Black marketing leadership talent pool.

“Those who have lived and continue to operate through the problem are often in the best position to drive change,” said Kirk McDonald, BECA founding member and GroupM North America CEO. “BECA, in the context of this moment in history, is about sharing and elevating the strengths and talents of many of our hidden leaders and our culture at a time when true authenticity and purpose-driven leadership is needed.”


BECA’s members are a perfect mix of presidents and VPs, CEOs and global heads, COOs and CMOs–all of whom bring a diverse range of marketing experience and expertise. Below is the complete list of BECA’s founding members, in alphabetical order:

  • Paul Alexander; CMO and chief communications officer, Eastern Bank
  • Nadja Bellan-White; global CMO, Vice Media
  • Esi Eggleston Bracey; executive VP and chief operating officer, personal care, Unilever North America
  • Jerri DeVard; founder, Black Executive CMO Alliance
  • Chris Foster; president, BCW North America
  • Sharon Harris; global CMO, Jellyfish
  • Susan Somersille Johnson; CMO, Prudential Financial
  • Ramon Jones; executive VP and CMO, Nationwide Insurance
  • Lauren Kelly; CMO, ThoughtExchange
  • Remi Kent; global CMO, 3M
  • Candace Matthews; chief reputation officer, Amway
  • Kirk McDonald; CEO, GroupM North America
  • Ukonwa Kuzi-Orizu Ojo; global CMO, Prime Video and Amazon Studios
  • Kimberly E. Paige; executive VP and CMO, ViacomCBS—BET Networks
  • Gail Peterson; senior VP and CMO, Ecolab
  • Bozoma Saint John; global CMO, Netflix
  • Ralph Santana; executive VP and global CMO, Harman International
  • Vicky Free Sistrunk, senior VP, global brand marketing, Adidas
  • Will Smith; senior VP and CMO, PetSmart
  • Janice Tennant; CMO, Merrell
  • Najoh Tita-Reid; head of global marketing, Logitech
  • Dara Treseder; senior VP, head of global marketing and communications, Peloton
  • Anton Vincent; president, Mars Wrigley, North America
  • Kevin Warren; CMO, UPS
  • Julie Spencer Washington; CMO and chief experience officer, Trinity Health
  • Jacqueline Woods; CMO and chief operating officer, NielsenIQ

BECA is kicking off its program in Q3 2021. DeVard tells Marcom Weekly, “Organizations can help support our mission by partnering with BECA to invest in the development of their Black marketing, sales (and adjacent areas) talent. We will look for allies to collaborate with us in the areas of internship, mentorship, scholarship and sponsorship and for organizations who are excelling in demonstrating real change.”

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