The soon-to-be-former Chief Operating Officer of Starbucks will be the new CEO of Walgreens. Brewer will be the only Black woman to serve as a Fortune 500 CEO and the third Black woman to a Fortune 500 company in history, following Ursula Burns who was the CEO of Xerox, and Mary Winston who was the interim CEO at Bed Bath and Beyond.
Brewer’s path to leadership doesn’t start there. Before she joined Starbucks in 2017, Brewer was the CEO of Sam’s Club, which is under the umbrella of Walmart. However, being a Black woman in a high position comes with its challenges.
In 2018, Brewer spoke on these challenges while at her alma mater, Spelman “When you’re a Black woman, you get mistaken a lot. You get mistaken as someone who could actually not have that top job.”
She continued, “Sometimes you’re mistaken for kitchen help. Sometimes people assume you’re in the wrong place, and all I can think in the back of my head is, ‘No, you’re in the wrong place.’”
As reported in the Chicago Sun-Times, David Burritt, CEO of U.S Steel Corporation said about Brewer, “Roz has mastered the art of being a servant- leader- she has humility, but at the same time, she’s in charge.” He continued, “I’m a huge fan. When I grow up, I want to be just like her.”