Industry News | September 6, 2017 | By Danny Klein | QSR Exclusive Brief

Starbucks Names Former Sam's Club CEO Group President

Rosalind Brewer is a current Starbucks board member. Starbucks
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Starbucks’ CEO and president Kevin Johnson announced one of the company’s biggest leadership changes during his tenure so far, which began April 3 when Howard Schultz shifted into an executive chairman role.

Rosalind Brewer, the former president and CEO of Sam’s Club, will take over as group president and chief operating officer at Starbucks Corporation, effective October 2. Brewer, a current Starbucks board member, has spent more than 30 years in management and more than 10 years leading multi-national retailers.

“Starbucks is a culture-first company focused on performance and Roz is a world class operator and executive who embodies the values of Starbucks. 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. Roz is the right leader to help us realize our greatest of ambitions in this next chapter of our journey,” Johnson said in a statement. “I am honored that Roz is joining Starbucks in this capacity and playing an important role with an accomplished team of senior leaders that reflects the strength and diversity of our organization.” 

As group president and COO, Brewer will be tasked with leading Starbucks’ operating business in the U.S., Latin America, and Canada. She will also oversee the global functions of supply chain, product innovation, and store development organizations, the company said. She will remain on the board of directors and report to Johnson.

“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. 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 said in a statement.

Brewer spent five years with Sam’s Club, the $56 billion members-only warehouse club channel of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. She also held executive roles at Wal-Mart for six years and 22 at Kimberly-Clark.

“Brewer brings with her extensive insight on large-scale operations and supply chain logistics,” Starbucks said. “… Brewer will also provide vast expertise in product development, product management, innovation, and international operations and distribution.”

Brewer was ranked No. 19 on Fortune’s 2016 list of the World’s Most Powerful Women. She was No. 57 on a similar ranking by Forbes that year. Brewer sits on the board for Lockheed Martin Corporation and chairs the Board of Trustees at Spelman as well.