Kenneth Chenault Leaving Facebook Board; Appointed First Black Director at Berkshire Hathaway

Former American Express CEO Kenneth I. Chenault announced Friday that he was “stepping down” from the board of Facebook Inc. On the same day, Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway disclosed the nomination of the world-renowned corporate leader to its board, making him the first African American ever to serve as a director of the conglomerate. Chenault will replace departing Berkshire Hathaway board member Bill Gates, the co-founder of Microsoft Corp. and billionaire philanthropist.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Chenault, a member of the Black Enterprise Registry of Corporate Directors who became the first African American to sit on the social media giant’s board, decided not to seek re-election to the body due to differences with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg related to “governance and political policies.”

The news came days after Facebook announced the appointment of The Estée Lauder Companies’ CFO Tracey Travis. She will join Peggy Alford, Senior Vice President of Core Markets for PayPal Holdings as the second African American female director to serve on its board. Alford became the first black woman appointed to the Facebook board last year. Chenault, who currently serves as Chairman and Managing Director of Silicon Valley-based VC firm General Catalyst, will continue his role as director until the company’s next annual meeting.

Chenault wrote in a post on Facebook’s Newsroom site: “Facebook plays an important role in the lives of people around the world. During the timeI served on the board, the company made progress in dealing with new challenges and continues its reach and to grow as a business…”

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Source: Black Enterprise