Constellation Brands Names Second Woman to its Board of Directors

The Fortune 500 beer, wine and spirits maker increased the board’s size to 11.
Susan Somersille Johnson / Photo courtesy of Constellation Brands

Constellation Brands said Thursday that Susan Somersille Johnson, corporate executive vice president and chief marketing officer of SunTrust Banks, had joined its board of directors effective July 18.

Since Johnson joined SunTrust, she has overseen the financial institution’s marketing strategy, corporate marketing and serves as a member of the executive leadership team. Prior to SunTrust, Johnson led global marketing for NCR Corporation where she successfully developed a strategy that revitalized and repositioned the brand. She began her career with Apple as a product manager where she developed the pricing strategy for new products in Japan.

Johnson earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering sciences from Harvard University and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

She joins Judy A. Schmeling, HSN Inc. chief operation officer and president of Cornerstone Brands on Constellation’s Board.

Companies with more women on their boards have better financial results

Fortune 500 companies with the highest representation of women board directors attained significantly higher financial performance, on average, than those with the lowest representation of women board directors, according to a 2016 report by Catalyst, a nonprofit organization working globally with businesses to expand opportunities for women.

Looking at more than 3,000 global companies, Credit Suisse found that women held 14.7 percent of board seats in 2015. That was up 54 percent since 2010.

Research from many scholars and organizations, including Catalyst, found that three women or more are needed to create a “critical mass” of women, which can lead to better financial performance.

MSCI, the investment research firm, found that three or more women changes boardroom dynamics substantially and “enhances the likelihood that women’s voices and ideas are heard.”

Published on July 21, 2017
Topics: Latest News
About the Author
Leslie Gevirtz
Contributing Editor, Business

An award-winning journalist, Gevirtz spent more than 20 years covering disasters—natural, political, and financial—before becoming Reuters’ wine correspondent; a beat that guaranteed her colleagues were always glad to see her.




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