- HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL - Jul 13, 2020 -
VIDEO: Ken Frazier, one of only four Black CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, speaks with Professor Tsedal Neeley about the search for a coronavirus vaccine, how racism at the workplace holds back America’s progress, and his own upbringing just one generation from slavery.
As chairman and CEO of the leading vaccine producer in the world, pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Ken Frazier has one of the highest-profile positions in global business.
But Frazier, who is leading one of the firms on a charge to develop a COVID-19 vaccine, is unique in another way: He is just one of four Black CEOs leading a Fortune 500 company.
Frazier is also outspoken, having resigned from President Trump’s American Manufacturing Council to make a clear statement against “hatred, bigotry and group supremacy” that surfaced in protests at Charlottesville, Virginia.
In the video below, Frazier provides insights into this turbulent period of American history with Tsedal Neeley (@tsedal), the Naylor Fitzhugh Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Topics ranged from corporate America’s role in hiring more African Americans to the experience of being raised just one generation away from slavery.