On Tuesday, Starbucks announced the nomination of three new board members, Rosalind Brewer, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sam's Club, and executive vice president of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; Jørgen Vig Knudstorp, Executive Chairman of the LEGO Brand Group; and Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft Corporation, to the Starbucks Board of Directors. Pending shareholder approval, the new directors will expand the board to 14 people and broaden board diversity to 29 percent female and 36 percent ethnic minority with ages ranging from millennials to baby boomers to more closely mirror the company’s customer base. “For 45 years, the success of the Starbucks brand has been built upon the preservation of the trust, confidence and connection we have with our customers and partners,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks Chairman and CEO.
Aside from adding to the diversity quotient, Rosalind Brewer brings to the Board invaluable senior leadership experience in supply chain logistics, consumer products and operations. Brewer, who will retire from her role with Sam’s Club and Walmart on Feb. 1, 2017, also serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees for Spelman College and sits on the Board of Directors for Lockheed Martin Corporation. “For many years, I’ve looked to Starbucks as a leader in how companies should stay ahead of innovation, build trust and loyalty with customers and deeply engage in local and global communities. As an avid customer, I am delighted every day to see just how much this company focuses on honing its craft. It will be an honor to put my many years of retail and customer engagement to work on behalf of the brand, and to serve alongside such a talented group in doing so,” said Brewer.
While ‘diversity and inclusion’ is a favorite buzz phrase for many corporations, African-Americans still hold less than nine percent of public corporate board seats and women less than 20 percent. Salute to Starbucks for taking strides toward actual corporate diversity from the top down. I'll be ordering my next tall, non-fat latte with caramel and a drizzle of #BlackGirlMagic.
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