Ex-Sam’s Club CEO Rosalind Brewer named Starbucks COO

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SEATTLE — Former Sam’s Club chief executive officer Rosalind Brewer is joining Starbucks Coffee Co. as group president and chief operating officer.

Rosalind Brewer

Plans call for Brewer to start in her new role on Oct. 2. She will be responsible for Starbucks’ businesses across Canada, the United States and Latin America, as well as its global supply chain, product innovation and store development.

Brewer joined the Starbucks board in January and retired from Walmart’s Sam’s Club unit on Feb. 1. At Starbucks, she will become the first woman and the first African-American to hold the title of group president and COO.

“As a passionate customer of the brand and recently elected board member, I have a deep love and admiration for the Starbucks brand and its people,” Brewer said in a statement. “I am so honored to have the pleasure of working with the Starbucks leadership team to realize our highest of aspirations for the company, and I look forward to working closely with the astute and talented leaders across the enterprise.”

Brewer has more than 30 years of management experience and 10 years of experience leading multinational retailers. Brewer had led Sam’s Club as CEO for five years, starting in February 2012. She joined Walmart in 2006 as a regional vice president, overseeing operations in Georgia. She later became division president of the Southeast and then president of Walmart East. Before joining Walmart, she spent 22 years at Kimberly-Clark Corp., starting as a scientist and eventually becoming president of the Global Nonwovens Sector in 2004.

While at Sam’s Club, Brewer was credited with making changes aimed at bringing the warehouse club retailer more in line with trends in e-commerce and health and wellness.

Kevin Johnson, president and CEO of Starbucks, noted that Brewer has been a trusted strategic counselor since her appointment to the board earlier this year.

“Starbucks is a culture-first company focused on performance, and Roz is a world-class operator and executive who embodies the values of Starbucks,” stated Johnson, who held Brewer’s position before succeeding Howard Schultz in April. “I deeply value her insight, business acumen and leadership expertise. Roz is the right leader to help us realize our greatest of ambitions in this next chapter of our journey.”




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