Former Starbucks Exec Roz Brewer Is Pouring Diversity Into Walgreens As New CEO

CBx Vibe:Black Girl” Lenny Kravitz

By CultureBanx Team

  • Rosalind Brewer is taking over Walgreens as CEO and will be the only Black woman at the helm of a Fortune 500 company
  • Walgreens is expected to play an important role in distributing coronavirus vaccines across the country

Starbucks (SBUX -1.37%) former COO of three years, Rosalind Brewer, is taking her talents to the drugstore retail sector as the CEO of Walgreens (WBA -0.85%). The company’s stock price got a boost after the announcement with shares rising 4.5%. Given Brewer’s breadth of retail experience, could she be exactly what Walgreens needs to kill two birds with one stone; traditional retail and its ongoing diversity struggles?

Why This Matters: It’s possible that Brewer holds the keys based on her former role as CEO of Walmart (WMT -2.27%) owned Sam’s Club to help Walgreens take a commanding lead in its sector. She was able to help Starbucks bolster its to-go operations as the coronavirus pandemic hit while working to improve diversity among the company’s leadership, according to The Wall Street Journal. Surely she will be bringing some similar initiatives to Walgreens.

Brewer will become the only black woman at the helm of a Fortune 500 company, and one of just five black chief executives in that club at a moment

Her appointment was both a great achievement and “a reminder of how much work is still ahead,” Robert F. Smith, CEO Vista Equity Partners.

Formed by the 2014 merger of the U.S. chain Walgreens with the Switzerland-domiciled Alliance Boots, the group has underperformed the market for the past five years. Boots closed dozens of outlets last year, at a cost of more than 4,000 jobs, as its parent company took a $2 billion impairment charge against its UK investment.

Now with Brewer leading the company, it’s expected to play an important role in distributing coronavirus vaccines across the country. Brewer’s arrival at Walgreens will come as the company struggles with reduced store traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic while working to cut costs.

What’s Next: Brewer will become the only Black woman at the helm of a Fortune 500 company, and one of just five Black chief executives in that club at a moment. She will take over the helm of Walgreens on March 15.

CBx Vibe:Black Girl” Lenny Kravitz

CONTRIBUTOR

CultureBanx Team

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