Starbucks chief operating officer Roz Brewer is leaving the company for a new job. She will become the CEO of Walgreens, the Wall Street Journal reports. In her new role Brewer becomes the only Black female CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Starbucks said Brewer will leave at the end of February.
Women currently hold 30, or 6%, of CEO positions at S&P 500 companies as of December 2020, according to Catalyst, a nonprofit research group focused on advancing women in leadership roles.
Brewer’s ascent is not only significant for women but for women of color, who are dramatically underrepresented in senior management levels, according to the latest “Women in the Workplace” report by McKinsey & Company. Between January 2015 and January 2020, representation of women in senior-vice-president positions grew from 23 to 28 percent, and representation in the C-suite grew from 17 to 21 percent, according to the report. Additionally, one in five C-suite leaders is a woman, and fewer than one in 30 is a woman of color.
Brewer is no stranger to being the top boss.
Prior to coming to Starbucks, she served as president and CEO of Walmart’s Sam’s Club division. At the time, she was the first woman and first Black woman to lead a division of Walmart.
At a 2018 shareholder meeting, she outlined several initiatives to revive sales including expanding the brand’s food business, increasing the number of cold beverages, expanding the company’s digital footprint, and boosting delivery options.
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