Childhood & Education
Bozoma “Boz” Saint John was born January 21, 1977.
Her father’ s name is Rev. Dr Appianda Arthur while her Mother is Mrs Aba Arthur (née Enim). She was born in the United States but moved to Ghana by the time she was only 6 months old.
The family moved back Colorado Springs in the United State by the time she was age 12.
Her father was an avid clarinet player and member of the Ghanian Army before emigrating to the United States to attend graduate school.
Saint John was deeply inspired by her father by her success at Wesleyan. In 1977, Her father received a his PhD in ethnomusicology and by 1999, she also graduated from the same University with an English major.
Career & Growth
She started her elementary schools in Ghana, Africa before settling down in Connecticut, United States.
Saint John graduated from Wesleyan University and relocated to New York afterwards.
After being jobless for a while in New York, Saint John was directed to a temp agency that eventually landed her with a job as a receptionist for Spike Lee.
She got an opportunity to review one of Spike Lee’s script while still working as a receptionist. This singular act of going the extra mile paid forth for her as she was given a more deserving role to manage an account.
She also had a stint with Arnold Worldwide before joining fashion brand, Ashley Stewart as Vice President of Marketing.
Saint John joined PepsiCo, North America and led PepsiCo’s foray into music festival-based marketing.
She was the Head of the Music and Entertainment Marketing, this part of PepsiCo business was actually from her proposal on a suggestion that the company sponsor music festivals and award shows.
She stayed with the PepsiCo for almost a decade before joining Beat Music in 2014, Saint Johns was recruited directly by Jimmy Iovine of Beat Music due to her on her experience in music marketing.
Saint John relocated to Los Angeles from New York to lead marketing team for the company.
However, Beats was acquired shortly after she joined by Apple and Saint John was promoted.
She became the Head of global consumer marketing for iTunes and Apple Music, shuttling between Los Angeles and Apple’s Cupertino Headquarters many times a week.
In 2016, Saint John’s presentation of the redesigned Apple Music onstage during the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference gave her an opportunity to show the world the talent she has.
She was the cynosure of all eyes with her delivery of the Apple new products to both the online and the live audiences.
Her appearance during the conference has been described by many journalists as a major factor that has helped emphasize Apple’s complete rebuild of its apple Music software.
Buzz feed wrote that she was the “ coolest” person to ever take the stage at any Apple Keynote.
On June 6, 2017, Saint John became Chief Brand Officer at Uber. She has been given the task of turning Uber into a brand that people love as much as Apple.
In June 2018, Saint John left Uber to join Endeavor as Chief Marketing Officer.
“I feel like the last two decades has really prepared me for this,” Saint John says. “I’ve been able to work across portfolios and connect story-lines together. This is another moment to do that.”
“I’ve been touting the importance of pop culture and what it means throughout my career,” Saint John says, “whether it was with Pepsi, Apple, or Uber. I’ve always been saying that. Now I actually get to be in the middle of it. Before I was working from the outside in. Now I can work from the inside out.”
In her first major marketing job, at PepsiCo, she organized the halftime show that Pepsi sponsored at the Super Bowl featuring Beyoncé.
While at Apple Music, she was inducted to the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement in 2014.
In 2016 as an Apple exec, she won won over the crowd at the WWDC when she was on stage to unveil an Apple Music redesigned and got the (mostly white, male) room to jam out to “Rapper’s Delight.”
At Apple, she also came up with popular ad campaigns for Apple Music, such as 2015 commercial starring Mary J Blige, Kerry Washington and Taraji P.Henson.
At Uber, she joined the company when it was hurting and when the brand was in a tough spot.
She helped Uber in forming partnerships with pop culture moguls to helping sign deals with major sports teams, she has brought enthusiasm and spirit to everything she has done over the last year.
She was a fantastic ambassador and brand evangelist for Uber brand.
In 2015 she won the Billboard’s Top Women in Music, a year later she took both the Fortune’s 40 Under 40 and Billboard’s Female Executive of the Year.
She was also a named among one of Fast Company 100 Most Creative People and Ad Age 50 Most Creative People. Ebony named her among 100 Powerful Executives.
In 2013, Peter Saint John, the husband to Bozoma Saint John received the shocking news of his cancer.
The couple had been together for 10 years and we’re making great advancement in their advertising careers before the news.
“We discovered that year  that he had cancer”, the Connecticut-born Ghanaian told an audience at the Labadi Beach Hotel where the African Leadership Initiative West Africa held a fund-raising.
But after months of chemotherapy with little success, the ultimate bombshell dropped on the family with a four-year-old daughter.
“He was told that he would not make it and that his cancer was terminal…he had a few weeks to live”.
Life reset the button of her priorities and there was a great ‘do-it-now’ mentality.
“It created this urgency for us” she recalled, “we needed to do everything we wanted to do before he was gone.”
“If Peter wanted to go camping, there were little second thoughts. “There was no next week”. He made up with friends and dropped grudges more instantly. The little fights in the union stopped.
“If we wanted to make up for the little fights that we had along the year, we clear the air.
“You really don’t know how long we have. I think we all here…but the truth of the matter is, we really don’t know how long we have…
“And when you do know, it gives you that much more urgency..fire to do everything that you wanted to do”.
As she started down the strenuous pursuit of a career, her husband passed away, leaving just her and her daughter, but that didn’t stop her.
A tall, striking Ghanian born American, Saint John also said that at Endeavor she would “help to elevate
the stories of women and people of colour. Both in the work as well as in the culture.”
Her goal, she said, was to “leverage and create this larger narrative about change in the world today.”
Saint John is a great example for people who want to distinguish themselves in their field. Her strong attitude is something everyone can learn from, and her words are lessons about the reality of turning to work in someone favour.
Hard-work and the time to find the right people can make one effective business leader, no matter what your position is in the company.
It’s about making yourself shine and keeping a clear head.
Every Lawyer will have their day in court they say, and you can be prepared to take it, just like Bozoma Saint John.
We hope you have enjoyed exploring Bozoma Saint John biography and her success story have inspired you to new discoveries.
What do you think about the lessons taken from the Saint John story? Let us know in the comments below.