Walgreens said Tuesday it has tapped Starbucks executive Roz Brewer as its new CEO, which will make her the only Black woman leading a Fortune 500 company.
Starbucks announced Tuesday that Brewer was departing after a little more than three years as its chief operating officer. Walgreens later confirmed that Brewer will take over as its CEO on March 15.
Brewer succeeds Stefano Pessina, who served as CEO for six years following the merger between Walgreens and Alliance Boots in 2014. Pessina will transition to executive chairman of Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc.'s board.
Pessina praised Brewer’s expertise in operations, customer relations, talent development and digital innovation.
“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.
At Starbucks, Brewer revamped stores, taking out clutter and cutting down on administrative work so employees could focus on customers and speed up service. She helped grow Starbucks’ rewards program and pushed for more diversity in its ranks.
Prior to joining Starbucks, Brewer served as president and CEO of Sam’s Club, the members-only warehouse channel of Walmart Inc. She also grew membership and improved merchandise there.
Before that, Brewer was with Kimberly-Clark Corp. for 22 years. Brewer __ who has a bachelor's degree in chemistry from Spelman College __ started at Kimberly-Clark as a scientist and ultimately served as president of the Global Nonwovens Sector.