Rosalind G. Brewer is an American businesswoman who is the COO of Starbucks and the former President and CEO of Sam’s Club, a division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc. USA Today referred to her as “one of corporate America’s most prominent women and black female executives.”She became the first woman and the first African-American to fill the role of CEO at one of Wal-Mart Stores’ divisions.In 2018 she was listed as the 34th in Forbes’ ranking of the most powerful women.[
Early life and education
Brewer, a Detroit native, attended Cass Technical High School in Detroit. She completed her undergraduate education at Spelman College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.She is a graduate of the Director’s College at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business/Stanford Law School, and she also attended an advanced management program at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Brewer had a 22-year career at Kimberly-Clark Corporation Starting out as a scientist, she eventually advanced to president of the Global Nonwovens Sector in 2004.
Brewer’s career with Walmart began in 2006 with her position as regional vice president over operations in Georgia. From there, she became the division president of Walmart’s Southeast market, then president of Walmart East.In 2012, Brewer was named President and CEO of Sam’s Club, becoming the first African American to lead a Walmart division. She focused on health and wellness by doubling the amount of organic products offered at Sam’s Clubs.
Brewer formerly served on the board of directors for Lockheed Martin Corporation, and is chair of the board of trustees for Spelman.
On February 1, 2017 Brewer was nominated for the Starbucks Board of Directors, and was named as COO in September of that year. Brewer is the second-highest-ranking executive at Starbucks after CEO Kevin Johnson. She leads the organization’s businesses in the United States, Canada and Latin America in addition to its operations. Shortly after being named to her new role, she navigated Starbucks through a difficult year, after the arrest of two black men at a Philadelphia store location triggered nationwide protests and negative publicity. In response, Brewer implemented policy changes and instituted racial bias trining for employees in 8,000 stores on racial bias.
In February 2019, Amazon announced that Brewer has been named to their board.
Brewer has served as Chair of Board of Trustees for Spelman College since 2011 after being elected in 2006. She was a director of Molson Coors Brewing Company from 2006 to 2011 and is on Board of Directors for Lockheed Martin, Board of Trustees for The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, and Board of Councilors for the Carter Presidential Center.
Brewer is married to John Brewer, and they have two children.
In 2013, Brewer was named one of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women by Forbes.The magazine also named her among the Most Powerful Black Women of 2013. Additionally, Working Mother named her one of the Most Powerful Working Moms of 2013. She has been honored by Fortune magazine as one of the 50 Most Powerful Women in Business. As of 2014, she is listed as the 64th most powerful woman in the world by Forbes. Fortune 500‘s Most Powerful Women List of September 15, 2015 issue ranked Brewer 15th. In 2016 she ranked 19th on Fortune’s annual ranking.
Brewer received the Spelman College Legacy of Leadership award.[