Saturday, September 23, 2017
Profiles in Black: Wes Coleman
By Brian W. Carter (Intern)
Published December 10, 2009

Profiles in Black: 
Wes Coleman

Wes Coleman

Wes Coleman was the Executive Vice President and Chief Resources Officer for Walt Disney Company.


By Brian W. Carter
Sentinel Intern


            There are people within our community that are doing great things every day. They range from teachers to government officials. It is important to highlight these extraordinary African Americans among us and acknowledge their success.  


            Wes Coleman is the former executive vice president and chief resources officer for the Walt Disney Company. He held the position from Oct. 2, 2006 to March 31, 2008.  Coleman was responsible for what some may say are the nuts and bolts of the operation. He has climbed the ladder of success working for high profile companies and corporations implementing ideas and paving a path of achievement.


            Coleman was born in Halifax, Virginia were he received his B.S. degree in business management from Hampton University in 1971. He later earned his M.B.A from the University of Pittsburgh in 1972. In 1981, Coleman joined SC Johnson as a manager of compensation and benefits focusing on design and how to implement executive compensation programs. He climbed the ladder at SC Johnson, taking on more responsibilities working through various human resource departments. In 1989, he was transferred to London as regional human resources director of Southern Europe; he also had responsibilities in the Africa and Middle-Eastern divisions and a manufacturing plant on Holland.


            In 1993, Coleman was given a two-year special assignment as assistant to President and CEO William George.  During these two years, Coleman focused on organizational development, special projects, integrating Drackett into the organization after its acquisition and leading the task force for SC Johnson’s emerging mentoring program. In 1995, he was elevated to vice president of human resources for Asia-Pacific and North America.


            Coleman was responsible for supporting the company’s expansion into emerging markets such as China and Vietnam. He helped to identify and foster local talent throughout the region. Because of his expertise in human resource policy, strategic initiatives, management development and executive recruitment, he led the company to utilize talents overseas. Coleman spent 20 years with SC Johnson working and improving the company’s overall reach and production.


            In 2002, Coleman joined Nike as the vice president of global human resources. At Nike, Coleman was responsible for strategic planning and executing all human resources for Nike’s 28,000 employees which included recruitment and staffing, compensation and benefits, training and development, executive succession planning, diversity and employee relations. Coleman is also responsible for fixing the company’s overall performance. He implemented new initiatives, management systems and created Nike’s office of Global Diversity.


            In 2006, Coleman joined the Walt Disney Company as Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources officer. He was responsible for compensation and benefits, organizational and cultural development, employee education and development, global staffing, employee relations, diversity and managing employee communications for the company’s 125,000 employees worldwide. He also oversaw the global business investments including studio entertainment, media networks, parks and resorts, consumer products and corporate administration. Coleman was the division leader over the heads of human resources unit.


            Although he has worked with many global companies, Coleman has also been apart of many philanthropic programs. He is a member of INROADS, SMART (Start Making A Reader Today) and SEI (Self-Enhancing Inc,), which offer educational opportunities and job skills to minority youth.  The range from academics to internships and help prepare youth for life. Coleman has also been involved with the United Negro College Fund and Milwaukee Art Museum. He sits on the presidential advisory council of Hampton University. Coleman has also received the prestigious H.F. Johnson Community Service Award for his volunteer programs. 


            Wes Coleman has left a blazing trail for others to admire and follow. He has worked for some of the biggest companies in the world and shared his time and success with the community. We here at the Sentinel, would like to congratulate Wes Coleman for his achievements and thank him for his many contributions.


Categories: National

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