Addison Barry Rand, one of the first African-American CEOs of a Fortune 500 company and former chief executive officer of AARP, has died. He was 74. Included three times in the annual NPT Power & Influence Top 50 of the sector’s key executives, Rand had stepped down at AARP in 2014 due to illness.
Born and raised in Washington, D.C., Rand turned around the financial fortunes of AARP and positioned it on its way to the political powerhouse it is today.
“Barry Rand will be tremendously missed,” said AARP CEO Jo Ann Jenkins. “Throughout his long career as a business executive, board member, and in his work at AARP Barry was recognized as a strategic leader, a passionate advocate, and a trusted friend and mentor,” she said.
“At AARP, Barry’s belief in the importance of access to affordable, quality healthcare and of financial security for older people and their families was central to our work supporting the Affordable Care Act and defending Medicare and Social Security. He had a remarkable presence, as comfortable in the company of the president and congressional leaders as he was with chatting with members across the country,” said Jenkins.
Rand came out of retirement to lead AARP in 2009, the nation’s largest nonprofit, non-partisan organization dedicated to social change for people 50 and older. AARP was in the middle of a battle to pass health care reform at the time.
Rand began his career at Xerox as a sales representative in 1968. He advanced to several senior positions within the company, completing a 30-year career as executive vice president, World Wide Operations. Under his leadership, Xerox became one of the most diverse companies in the Fortune 500 while also being selected America’s Best Sales Force and Top Training Organization in America. He was the driving force behind Xerox receiving the prestigious The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award in 1989 and again in 1997.
He became chairman and chief executive officer of Avis Group Holdings in 1999, which was then acquired by Cendant Corporation in 2001. In 2003, while serving on the board of Equitant, Ltd., an Ireland-based provider of outsourced management services, Rand became the company’s chairman and chief executive officer. He expanded Equitant into a global firm and negotiated its successful acquisition by IBM in 2005.
Rand served on the Board of Trustees at Howard University from 2001 to 2014, serving as chairman beginning in 2006. He established the Helen Matthews Rand Endowed Scholarship at the Howard University School of Education, named in honor of his late mother, to encourage students to enter teaching careers in urban school areas. He has also served on the boards of the Urban Family Institute, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and the Garth Fagan Dance Theatre, the Board of Overseers for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Advisory Council for the Stanford University Graduate School of Business.
Rand is survived by and his wife, Donna, and his two children, Christopher and Allison. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the A. Barry Rand Fund for Brain Health Research c/o AARP Foundation, 601 E Street, NW, Washington, D.C. 20049.