Starbucks names Rosalind Brewer new COO

Ursula Burns: Help is part of the American Dream
Ursula Burns: Help is part of the American Dream

Starbucks has named Rosalind Brewer, the former president and CEO of Walmart subsidiary Sam's Club and one of the most prominent black women business leaders in America, its new chief operating officer and group president.

Brewer left Sam's Club and Walmart (WMT) earlier this year and was widely expected to land a new gig at another company.

Brewer, who's already a member of the Starbucks (SBUX) board of directors, will be in charge of the company's coffee stores in the U.S., Latin America and Canada, according to a press release. She'll also head up the company's global supply chain, product development and store innovation plans.

She will officially join Starbucks in early October and report directly to new Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson, a former tech executive with experience at Microsoft (MSFT)and Juniper Networks. (JNPR)

Johnson succeeded Starbucks founder and executive chairman Howard Schultz in April.

Brewer's new role once again makes her among the most influential black executives working in Corporate America.

There are currently no black female CEOs at a major Fortune 500 company. Ursula Burns stepped down as CEO of Xerox (XRX) earlier this year after the photocopier company completed its spinoff of business services unit Conduent (CNDT).

Debra Lee, the chairman and CEO of Viacom (VIAB) unit BET and a member of Twitter's board, is arguably the most prominent black female executive at a major public company.

Oprah Winfrey is the founder and CEO of several private media companies and is also a board member and influential shareholder of Weight Watchers (WTW).

There are only a few black male CEOs at large companies, too. Merck (MRK) CEO Ken Frazier, Carnival (CCL) CEO Arnold Donald, American Express (AXP) CEO Ken Chenault and JCPenney (JCP) CEO Marvin Ellison are among the most prominent.

The number of women CEOs in general is on the decline at major companies as well.

Just last month, Oreo owner Mondelez (MDLZ) said that CEO Irene Rosenfeld would be retiring while Avon (AVP) announced that CEO Sheri McCoy would be leaving the iconic makeup company.

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