Starbucks announced on Wednesday that it hired Rosalind Brewer as group president and chief operating officer, the first woman and African American to hold the post.
Brewer, who starts her new position on Oct. 2, held several leadership roles at Walmart and is a former Sam’s Club CEO.
Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson said in a statement that Brewer, who has served on Starbuck’s board of directors since March, is “a world class operator and executive who embodies the values of Starbucks.”
As a board member, “she has been a trusted strategic counselor to me,” he added. Brewer will report directly to Johnson.
Brewer said in the statement that she is “a passionate customer” of the global coffee chain, and she has “a deep love and admiration” for the company and its employees.
Here are three things to know about Brewer:
1. Spelman College Graduate: Brewer is a Spelman College alumna, class of 1984. She continued her education at the University of Pennsylvania, where she completed an advanced management program at The Wharton School. She continues to support Spelman’s mission as chair of the college’s board of trustees.
“I chose to serve as a trustee because of the genuine love I have for my alma mater and my personal interest in investing in the education of African-American women,” she said in a statement on the college’s website.
2. Forbes Most Powerful Women: Forbes magazine ranked Brewer in 2016 as the 57th most powerful woman in the world. The magazine describes the 100 most powerful women as “the smartest and toughest female business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, philanthropists and CEOs making their mark in the world today.”
3. Diversity Advocate: NBC News said Brewer has been “known for speaking out” about diversity. She faced backlash for fiercely advocating for women in the workplace and for noting that she often had to “nudge” the companies that do business with Sam’s Club.
SOURCE: Starbucks, Spelman College, Forbes, NBC News
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