Press Release


IPG and The Executive Leadership Council Host Event with Business Leaders called “Black Business Icons: From C-Suite to the Boardroom”

February 24, 2021 at 10:00 AM EST

New York, Feb. 24, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --  Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG) New York, NY, and the Executive Leadership Council (ELC), the preeminent membership organization for Black CEOs, board directors, and senior Black executives from the world’s largest organizations, announced today that in celebration of Black History Month, they are partnering on an event to discuss issues related to representation and influence of Black leadership in Business and Corporate America. IPG’s business resource group, the Black Employee Network (BEN), and ELC will host Black Business Icons: From C-Suite to the Boardroom, a virtual event on Wednesday, February 24th, from 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM EST. Registration for the event is free and open to the public. To register, click here.

The event features Crystal Ashby, Interim President and CEO, The Executive Leadership Council; Philippe Krakowsky, CEO of IPG; Jocelyn Carter-Miller, President of TechEdVentures, and member of the Boards of IPG, Prudential, Arlo Technologies; John W. Rogers, Jr., Co-CEO & Chief Investment Officer & Chairman of Ariel Investment; and the Co-Chairs of IPG’s U.S. Black Employee Network.

Black Business Icons will discuss the shift seen in 2020, as U.S. companies redefined the purpose of a corporation to promote “an economy that serves all Americans,” moving away from shareholder primacy to include commitments to all stakeholders. The event will examine the impacts from COVID-19, CEO activism, the Black Lives Matter movement and consumer and employee activism, and how these forces are leading to unprecedented changes in culture and society.

Philippe Krakowsky, IPG CEO, will be joined by IPG’s U.S. Black Employee Network Co-Chairs for an introductory conversation. They will look at how IPG addressed several of these forces during 2020, what racial equity and inclusion looks like for the future of IPG, and why companies like IPG need to engage with and support the Black Business Community.

Heide Gardner, IPG’s Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, will moderate the distinguished panelists in conversation as they explore various perspectives on how businesses should address Black leaders' under-representation, with a focus on Boards, NGOs, and as business partners.

“We all know that most companies are lagging with representation in the C-Suite and Boardroom, where critical decisions are made. We need more Black CEOs, board directors, executive management leaders, and in the case of our industry, even chief marketing officers. We also need more forums to celebrate and learn from those who are in these roles. We are honored to collaborate with the ELC and to have such pro-active and experienced corporate leaders join us to unpack the apparent momentum about representation, and about equity in the economic and policy decisions that companies must make,” noted Heide Gardner, IPG’s Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer. “The ELC and its members are paving the way to increase Black leadership across Corporate America and focusing on more transparency about equity and equality in companies’ practices in employment, philanthropy and re-investment through business partner diversity.”

“The ELC is dedicated to opening channels of opportunity for Black executives and leaders in business and society. We understand, all too well, the many challenges Black leaders face and the necessary changes needed to push Corporate America forward, and are honored to partner with IPG to address these critical topics,” said Crystal E. Ashby, interim president and CEO of The Executive Leadership Council. “We continue working towards building and developing the next pipeline of talent, and supporting the next generation of Black leaders.  It starts with conversations like these.”

To join IPG’s Black Employee Network and The Executive Leadership Council for Black Business Icons: From C-Suite to the Boardroom, on Wednesday, February 24th, from 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM EST, click here. Registration is free and open to the public.

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About Interpublic

Interpublic is values-based, data-fueled, and creatively-driven. Major global brands include Acxiom, Craft, FCB (Foote, Cone & Belding), FutureBrand, Golin, Huge, Initiative, Jack Morton, Kinesso, MAGNA, Matterkind, McCann, Mediahub, Momentum, MRM, MullenLowe Group, Octagon, R/GA, UM and Weber Shandwick. Other leading brands include Avrett Free Ginsberg, Campbell Ewald, Carmichael Lynch, Deutsch, Hill Holliday, ID Media and The Martin Agency. For more information, please visit

About The Executive Leadership Council

The Executive Leadership Council opens channels of opportunity for the development of Black executives to positively impact business and our communities. An independent non-profit 501(c)(3) founded in 1986, The ELC is the pre-eminent membership organization committed to increasing the number of global Black executives in C-suites, on corporate boards and in global enterprises. Comprising more than 800 current and former Black CEOs, senior executives and board directors at Fortune 1000 and Global 500 companies, and entrepreneurs at top-tier firms, its members work to build an inclusive business leadership pipeline that empowers global Black leaders to make impactful contributions to the marketplace and the global communities they serve. Visit for more information.

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Contact Information
Jemma Gould
(212) 704-1327

Libi Rice
The Executive Leadership Council
(Media Contact)
(202) 655-2926