For Greg Johnson, 2020 was a momentous year on his professional journey.
Executive Vice President and General Manager of Intuit's Consumer Group, Johnson was part of the largest financial technology acquisition to date when Intuit bought Credit Karma last month for $8.1 billion in cash and stock — paving the way for new consumer services.
Based in San Diego, Johnson oversaw a 13 percent jump in revenue for Intuit's consumer division, which includes TurboTax, TurboTax Live and Mint, despite the COVID-19 pandemic.
And after resisting overtures from recruiters for two years, Johnson joined his first corporate board this fall, becoming a director at Qualcomm.
As a minority executive overseeing a multi-billion-dollar business unit, Johnson has been highly sought after by companies looking to increase diversity on their boards. In those talks, he tried to ascertain whether he could genuinely contribute, or whether he was being courted because of his race.
"It is a weird thing. You do not want to be considered because you are Black. You want to be considered because you are the right person," he said. "But that is kind of naïve.
"We do need to course correct and address it. So, you know that (race) plays a role, and it should play some kind of a role as you look to diversify your board. But you don't want that to be the reason" for being offered a seat.
Johnson, 52, grew up in a military family. His father attended Tuskegee University and served in the Air Force. Five of seven brothers served in the military, including an older brother who went to West Point.
Johnson chose the U.S. Air Force Academy, where he was a two-time all-conference running back. He graduated with a degree in Operations Research.
After the Air Force, he spent 20 years working in the U.S. and abroad for Kraft Foods, SC Johnson, Kodak, Gillette and Best Buy. He joined Intuit in 2012 and was named head of the Consumer Group in 2018.