Walgreens Hires Starbucks COO Roz Brewer as New CEO
Drugstore chain Walgreens has hired a new CEO. Starbucks Chief Operating Officer Rosalind Brewer will replace Stefano Pessina as CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, CNBC reported.
Starbucks announced Brewer's departure yesterday, explaining that she was leaving the coffee company at the end of February for a CEO position at an undisclosed corporation. This hire will make Brewer the only Black woman leading a Fortune 500 company, CNBC reported. She joined Starbucks' board in 2017 and became COO later that year, becoming the first Black woman to fill the position. Prior to her time at Starbucks, Brewer also worked for Sam's Club and Kimberly-Clark.
Pessina announced his plans to step down as CEO of Walgreens in July 2020. Though he stepped down, Pessina is still one of the drugstore chain’s largest individual investors and plans to continue to serve on the board as executive chairman.
Total Retail's Take: This is great news for activists who have been pushing for more diversity in corporate America. Brewer has her work cut out for her in her new role, however. Walgreens struggled in 2020 as foot traffic dropped in-store due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, Walgreens has been closely competing with CVS Health, which acquired health insurer Aetna and was quicker to expand in healthcare services when it opened Minute Clinics.
Related story: Walgreens to Hire 25,000 to Help Distribute COVID-19 Vaccine
Ashley Chiaradio is the Senior Content Strategist at Total Retail. Ashley has been creating content for more than 7 years, and provides a unique insight in covering the retail industry having worked directly for retailers in the past. She’s passionate about profiling women leadership in the space.