Bozoma Saint John is an African-American businesswoman and marketing executive who has just been appointed Chief Marketing Officer of streaming giant, Netflix.
Born January 21, 1977 to Rev. (Dr.) Appianda Arthur and Aba Arthur in the United States, Bozoma and her parents moved to Ghana when she was 6 months old, but returned to the United States and settled in Colorado Springs, Colorado when she was 12.
Her father was a clarinet player and member of the Ghana Army before immigrating to the United States to attend graduate school, receiving a PhD in ethnomusicology in 1977.
Bozoma, whose father is her biggest inspiration, graduated from Wesleyan University with a degree in English in 1999, and began her professional career doing multiple menial jobs, with her first significant job at Arnold Worldwide, an advertising agency headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts.
Spike DDB, filmmaker Spike Lee’s advertising firm based in Brooklyn, New York, courted her services in 2000 as their senior account executive.
In March 2005, PepsiCo offered her a job as its new Senior Marketing Manager. It was a landmark in her career where she introduced changes that helped the multinational company stay competitive in the new millennium. It was her idea to set up the Music and Entertainment Marketing department that helped the company access all music-related markets more efficiently by sponsoring music festivals and award shows. Understandably, she was picked as the head of the department, a position that she held for the next ten years.
Bozoma launched an iHeart Media podcast in May 2020, alongside award-winning journalist Katie Couric, “Back to Biz with Katie and Boz,” which explored the ways thought leaders, Chief Executive Officers and innovators were responding to the societal shifts that had been ushered in by the coronavirus pandemic.
Another impact initiative of the African is the #ShareTheMicNow Instagram initiative; launched recently alongside Luvvie Ajayi Jones, Glennon Doyle, and Stacey Bendet. On June 10, 2020, 52 Black women took over the Instagram feeds of 52 white women with large platforms, magnifying Black women and the important work that they were doing in order to catalyze change. The campaign was incredibly successful, collecting 17 billion impressions.
A philanthropist, Bozoma makes concerted efforts at bringing relief and enlightenment to many. She represents Pencils of Promise as a Global Ambassador to Ghana and also serves on the boards of ‘Girls Who Code and Vital Voices.’
Bozoma was married to Peter Saint John, whom she met during her time at PepsiCo. Peter died of Burkitt lymphoma in 2013. They had a daughter together, Lael Saint John. After her husband’s death, Bozoma and Lael moved from New York City to Los Angeles where she currently resides.
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