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Starbucks taps former Sam's Club CEO as No.2 executive


Starbucks Corp. has named a former Walmart executive as its next COO.

The coffee giant appointed Rosalind Brewer as group president and COO, effective Oct. 2. She is the first woman, and first African American, to hold such a high post at Starbucks.

Brewer, who joined the Starbucks board in January, served as CEO of Sam's Club, a division of Walmart, from 2012 until she stepped down in January 2017. Prior to that, she spent six years in executive roles at Walmart. Before joining Walmart, she spent 22 years at Kimberly-Clark Corp.

Brewer is highly regarded throughout the retail industry. When she left Sam's Club, Walmart CEO Doug McMillon told employees in a memo that "she wants a new challenge."

Brewer will report to Starbucks' president and CEO Kevin Johnson and serve as a member of Starbucks senior leadership team. In her new role, Brewer will lead the company’s operating businesses across the Americas (Canada, U.S. and Latin America), as well as the global functions of supply chain, product innovation, and store development organizations.

“Starbucks is a culture-first company focused on performance and Roz is a world class operator and executive who embodies the values of Starbucks," said Kevin Johnson, Starbucks president and CEO. "She has been a trusted strategic counselor to me ever since she joined our board of directors, and I deeply value her insight, business acumen, and leadership expertise."

Brewer will continue to serve on the Starbucks board of directors.

“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. "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.”

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