For one whole summer, I had a West African goddess as a boss…
her name is Bozoma Saint John.
I first saw her, like many Apple fan boys and girls in 2016 presenting the big UI update for Apple Music during the much anticipated WWDC. I promised myself somehow, someway – I would end up on this woman’s team. Months later, that’s exactly what happened, but this story is less about me and more about celebrating the power moves this boss chick is making while sprinkling her Black Girl Magic all over the tech industry.
Boz has had quite the track record, totally Googlable, but I have to mention how she’s contributed to some of today’s most iconic pop culture moments through collaborations with an army of A-list musicians like Beyonce, Lady Gaga, Bruno Mars, Taylor Swift and Drake. She’s even won multiple awards, titles, and spots on coveted tech and music industry lists to back up her growing accomplishments. She’s pretty cold.
My first day on campus and the first time I’d sat in on weekly meetings, I saw this unicorn of a woman sitting tall at the head of the table. I couldn’t believe it was the same lady I just witnessed, in that bomb pink dress, rapping “Rapper’s Delight” in a room full of hipster nerds and tech geeks. Her presence was absolutely awe-inspiring and I’d never seen anything like it outside of the movies. She was brilliant, fashionably fabulous, had the most amazing flawless skin, was practically an Amazon, and a straight shooter with amazing jokes. The cherry on top…she was actually nice! I will never forget her kindness and willingness to engage the staff. Her energy just made you feel like she striving for greatness and demanded you to do the same.
News broke on last Friday that she would no longer be with Apple Music and many folks were surprised. Regardless of “the signs” and her growing demand, many of us felt hopeful to see her commit a few more years to Apple and bubble her way up the music executive chain. I mean, in a pretty short span of time, she started the path as a culture changer for Apple and her star power was definitely on the rise. She was also, notably, one of the few executives from Apple to keep up a blossoming personal brand outside of the tech giant. But though all the planets seemed to align for her reign, her departure just felt inevitable. My girlfriends and I would sit and discuss the business moves of many of her colleagues. We just knew she was going to have something big up her sleeve within the next two years. Monday June 5th, two years became 6 months and the inevitable became a reality. Boz resigned from her Head of Global Marketing role to enter a C-level position as the Chief Brand Officer of Uber.
Now let’s talk about how major this is for a split second. We all know Uber has had a rough couple of months over the last year but they Bat-Called a Black woman to save their image and brand. She’s literally Olivia Pope-ing the technology industry one company at a time! Killing it #fortheculture! Pause…you need to soak that in. Apple Music’s subscription numbers have increased immensely while under her expertise and marketing guidance (also Googlable). Pepsi, (pre Kendell-gate) was on an all time high with epic music marketing activations and performances that further exposed the company to it’s thirsting millennial customer base. So considering what little I knew of her pretty cool career…I realized, Boz doesn’t leave dumpster fires. She leaves rainbows and butterflies with every move she makes. (You’d know exactly what I’m talking about if you ever met her.)
So while I’m sure she’ll be sorely missed at Apple, she has the opportunity to leave her biggest glitter bomb yet at Uber where they desperately need her reinvention magic to keep them in the game. And for that, we all wish you nothing but success Boz! We’re rooting for you. Make those Boz moves girl! <3