The lack of diversity in some of the world’s leading technology brands has not gone unnoticed by the Congressional Black Caucus. Members of the CBC and other organizations have been pushing Silicon Valley to hire more people of color and women to the executive ranks. Apple, one of the word’s leading tech companies heeded the call and added James Bell to its executive board.
Bell, a former corporate president and CFO for global manufacturer Boeing, brings decades of experience at the corporate level. Born June 14, 1948 in Los Angeles, Calif., Bell holds an accounting degree from California State University at Los Angeles. Bell’s corporate career began in 1972 at Rockwell International where he worked as an accountant. When Rockwell was acquired by Boeing in 1996, Bell stayed on board. In his time at Boeing, he served as an interim CEO, CFO and president, stepping down in 2011.
Bell currently serves on the boards of JPMorgan Chase, Dow Chemical, and is a trustee of Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center. In August, CBC members met with business leaders in Silicon Valley. Additionally, Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition released a survey noting that there are only three Black people and one Hispanic person sitting on the boards across 20 major tech companies. Facebook and Google do not have any Black people in their boardrooms.
Bell is only the second Black person to sit on Apple’s board according to industry reports. Delano Lewis, the former U.S. Ambassador to South Africa and former NPR president, was the first in the mid-1990s.
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