Rosalind Brewer, currently COO of Starbucks, will soon become CEO of drugstore giant Walgreens making her the only Black woman currently leading a Fortune 500 company. All previous Walgreens CEOs have been white and male.
Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA), the holding company for Walgreens and related businesses, including Duane Reade, announced Tuesday night that Brewer will start in her new position on March 15.
“I am excited to work alongside the entire [WBA] team as we deliver further innovation and positively impact the lives of millions of people around the world every day,” Brewer said in a statement, as reported by CNN.
“This is especially true today as the company plays a crucial role in combatting the Covid-19 pandemic.”
Investors reacted positively to Brewer’s hiring.
“Walgreens Boots shares jumped 5.2% premarket on the news after also rising after hours Tuesday,” said The Street on MSN.
Walgreens is the largest chain of its kind in the U.S., with more than 9,000 locations in all 50 states, along with D.C., Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “In tapping Brewer, Walgreens will be getting a seasoned executive with two decades of retail and consumer experience,” says Forbes, noting that Brewer, a native of Detroit, will also be joining WBA’s board of directors.
“Brewer brings to WBA a proven track record of leadership and operational expertise at multi-national corporations, with deep experience in strategic development, marketing, digital transformation and loyalty, innovation and technology, supply chain and store development,” Walgreens said in a statement Tuesday night.
Only one other Black woman, former Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, has ever held the top role at a Fortune 500 company. Watch more from CNBC above.