Hood was formerly the company’s Vice President of operations, strategy, and planning. The announcement stated that her promotion would be twofold — that she would serve as both the President and CEO of FedEx Custom Critical.
Hood started at the company as a receptionist when she was just 19 years old — and now, she is the boss. She has been working for FedEx for almost three decades.
“I wasn’t thinking this was going to be my career and I’d be here for 28 years,” she told Cleveland.com in an interview last week. “I was a young mother. I wanted a job that had a stable shift that would allow me to do (college) courses as appropriate.”
But Hood says that it wasn’t always easy navigating an industry dominated by white males. She recounted a time she turned to Virginia Addicott, who retired as president and CEO in December, for guidance.
“For whatever reason, I started to have issues with being the only African American,” she said. “I got the whole head trash, ‘Am I worthy? Did I deserve the seat I’m seating in?'”
Then CEO Addicott, reportedly told her, “I’m a woman, but I don’t know what it means to be an African American person.” Still, she was confident she could help her mentee. About a month later, she scheduled a meeting between Hood and some African American female executives, including one who owns her own marketing company.
“I had nothing to do with marketing, but it was a way for her [Addicott] to connect me with someone at a high level, who looked like me,” Hood said.
Shannon Brown, FedEx Express chief diversity officer and senior vice president of Eastern Division U.S. operations gushed over Hood’s new appointment, calling it “something we can be really, really proud of.”