Susan M. Cameron, who recently retired as president and chief executive officer of Reynolds American Inc., achieved great success in corporate America. Last year, she was ranked No. 22 in Fortune magazine’s 2010 listing of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business and No. 51 in Forbes magazine’s 2010 World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. She was also ranked No. 34 in the Financial Times’ 2010 Top 50 Women in World Business.
Cameron cites her experience at Bellarmine, where she received her MBA in 1987, as a significant contributing factor in her professional achievements.
“I have had tremendous success and joy in my chosen field and progressed beyond my wildest expectations. Bellarmine gave me the confidence I needed to succeed and the learning environment that enhanced my strengths.”
Cameron (formerly Susan M. Ivey), attended Bellarmine’s executive MBA program from 1985-87 while working at Brown & Williamson Tobacco in Louisville. “The students, the professors and the curriculum provided an excellent experience and helped me fulfill my dream of moving from sales to consumer marketing,” she said. “Without my MBA, that would not have been possible.”
Cameron joined Brown & Williamson in 1981 and held various trade and brand positions until 1990, when she moved to London to serve as a brand director for B&W’s parent company, British American Tobacco. In 1994 she became director of marketing in China, and in 1996 she moved back to England as head of international brands. She returned to B&W in 1999 as senior vice president of marketing and was named president and CEO in 2001.
In July 2004, B&W combined with R.J. Reynolds, and Reynolds American Inc. was created as a new holding company, with R.J. Reynolds Tobacco as its chief operating subsidiary. Cameron became president and CEO of the company in 2004 and chairman in January 2006. She also served as chairman of R. J. Reynolds from July 2004 through April 2008. She remained a member of the board until her retirement in February.
Cameron said she decided to endow a scholarship as a living legacy and a tribute to Bellarmine. The Susan M. Cameron Endowed Scholarship Fund will provide financial assistance to female students entering their sophomore year.
“I am a huge advocate for women fulfilling their potential in leadership roles,” Cameron said. “I will be forever grateful to Bellarmine for the opportunities afforded to me in my career and the personal growth that I experienced there.”