*Walgreens has tapped Starbucks chief operating officer Roz Brewer as its new CEO. The position will make her the only Black female CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
After a three-year stint at Starbucks, Brewer, 59, will now replace current Walgreens CEO Stefano Pessina on March 15, the company said in a press release.
“WBA is a world-class and trusted organization whose purpose I deeply admire,” Brewer said in a statement. “The healthcare industry is constantly evolving, and 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.”
Congratulations to my corporate sister Roz Brewer on being named the new CEO of @WBA_Global. She is soon-to-be the only Black woman CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Another glass ceiling shattered today! pic.twitter.com/fUGwNR1sUB
— Mellody Hobson (@MellodyHobson) January 27, 2021
Prior to her role at Starbucks, Brewer made history as the first woman and first Black woman to serve as president and CEO of Walmart’s Sam’s Club division. Brewer has been on Amazon’s board of directors since 2019.
Pessina, who served as CEO for six years, will transition to executive chairman of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.’s board, per ABC News.
“She is a distinguished and experienced executive who has led organizations globally through periods of changing consumer behavior by applying innovation that elevates customer experiences,” Pessina said of Brewer.
“I step into this role with great optimism for the future of WBA,” said Brewer of her new gig in a statement.
“Roz has accepted an incredible opportunity as chief executive officer at another publicly traded company,” said Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson. “She will be leaving Starbucks at the end of February, and her next role is expected to be disclosed in the days ahead. In the meantime, I want to share we’re very excited for her and are grateful for her many contributions over the years in leading our operations across the Americas.”
According to Starbucks, the chief operating responsibilities “are being distributed to other members of the existing leadership team.”
Walgreens shares reportedly rose more than 8% after Brewer’s hiring was announced.