Former McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson and Cleveland Avenue Foundation’s Liz Thompson: Breaking Barriers

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July 07, 2021

Don and Liz Thompson are leaders in their respective industries. Don had a long career rising through the ranks of McDonald’s, eventually becoming the company’s first Black CEO. Meanwhile his wife Liz Thompson was a rising executive in education and nonprofits – like City Year Chicago, where she was the founding executive director.

Throughout their careers, the Thompsons kept their community in mind. In 2014, they started the Cleveland Avenue Foundation for Education (The CAFE), an organization focused on college access and career attainment for the Black community.

They talk to host Porter Braswell about being intentional with their work, in order to build economic equity in the Black community whenever they had the opportunity. They also discuss breaking racial barriers while climbing to the top of corporate America.

HBR Presents is a network of podcasts curated by HBR editors, bringing you the best business ideas from the leading minds in management. The views and opinions expressed are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Harvard Business Review or its affiliates.

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