Honoring CEO Ramona Hood: Breaking Barriers and Making History


Gemma X WBC

This year, for Black History Month, we share a remarkable story of one Black woman making modern history. In 1991, Ramona Hood was a 19-year-old single mother looking for full-time work. While also balancing night school, she accepted a role as a receptionist for Roberts Express. What she didn’t know at the time was that 20 years later, she would make history by being named the first black woman CEO for FedEx Custom Critical, formerly known as Roberts Express.

From Receptionist to CEO

It didn’t take long for Ramona to begin climbing the ladder by pursuing leadership roles and opportunities. Prior to her promotion to CEO, Hood led the way as Vice President of Operations, Strategy and Planning. “Over time, she began offering innovative and strategic ideas that distinguished her from her peers,” FedEx said in her company biography.

Within months of taking on her new role as CEO, Ramona found herself navigating the COVID-19 pandemic. She confides that, “maintaining an agile approach and focusing on communication were keys to her leadership during this period.” Hood did however have some previous experience with the hybrid world -- she had started an innovative pilot program in the early 2000s that allowed employees to work from home. 

After being appointed CEO, Ramona’s daughter asked her if she had just broken the glass ceiling. She later said on the Supply Chain Now Podcast, “it was so emotional, because you don’t exactly know what your kids understand as you’re going down a pathway. But, certainly, they were well aware of the impact this role would have, not only on me and them, but really an opportunity to create a platform to talk about those possibilities. So, it means the world to me, not being the first, but really being able to make sure that there’s many that come after me as I continue my journey as well.”

We commend Ramona for her accomplishments and the impact she has made as a role model for all women. At TONE we serve to develop, connect and grow women professionals in the workplace so we can continue to share and celebrate history-making milestones.