Friday, April 27, 2012

Getting to Know Your 1%: Aylwin Lewis


We've all heard of the Kochs and the Murdochs, the Buffetts and the Jobses, the Aileses and Gateses...but do we really KNOW our 1%?  In this recurring series, I'll be taking a look at some of the no-names in the corporate community and their connections and power within the community.



Aylwin Lewis


Aylwin Lewis sits on the Boards of Directors of both Halliburton and the Walt Disney Corporation (making sure all those magical movies and cartoons are promoting the military-industrial complex like they should--in addition to all the programming on the ABC/ESPN and A&E families of networks) and is formerly the interim Chief Executive Officer and President of Sears Holdings Corporation and currently the CEO of Potbelly Sandwich Works.
Sears Holdings was created in connection with the merger of Kmart and Sears, which was completed on March 24, 2005. Lewis joined Kmart as President and Chief Executive Officer on October 18, 2004 from Yum! Brands, where he was President, Chief Multi-Branding and Operating Officer.[1]
Just to confirm, yes, I said "Chief Multi-Branding...Officer" just now.  "What the hell is that?" some of you might ask--and with good reason.  
See, Yum! Brands is the world's largest fast food restaurant corporation which owns Taco Bell, KFC, Pizza Hut, Long John Silvers, and WingStreet--a total of nearly 38,000 locations in over 110 countries and territories.  Therefore, someone obviously needs to be in charge of marketing the same shitty food products in a myriad of different ways, under a variety of different brands (the illusion of choice that modern day monopoly-capitalism presents us with).  Hence the Chief Multi-Branding Officer.
On the bright side, he does happen to be a small business owner as well as being part of the 3-4% of Board of Directors members who is black[2]--so it's a pretty good bet that he's a token member meant to represent minorities as well as small business owners on the boards he serves on.  Sounds legit.


1 - I swiped everything up to this point (except the stuff in the parenthesis, obviously) from Lewis's WikiPedia page.
2 - Domhoff, G.W. 2010. Who Rules America? Challenges to Corporate and Class Dominance. New York: McGraw-Hill

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