The Corporate Women
Where Women are reshaping the corporate world

Rosalind Brewer: Pioneering Leadership and Advocacy for Diversity


Rosalind G. Brewer, a standout American businesswoman, has consistently shattered glass ceilings throughout her illustrious corporate career. As the CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance and former group president and COO of Starbucks, Brewer’s journey has been marked by historic achievements. With an estimated net worth of at least $48 million, her success story not only inspires personal achievement but also underscores the transformative impact of diversity and inclusion in the business world.

Early Life and Educational Pursuits

Born in 1962 in Detroit, Michigan, Rosalind Brewer is the youngest of five siblings. As the first in her family to pursue higher education, she initially aspired to become a physician, graduating in 1980 from Spelman College with a degree in chemistry. Despite her shift from medicine to the corporate world, her early experiences at Kimberly-Clark as a research technician showcased her ability to excel in uncharted territories.

Determined to enhance her professional skills, Brewer pursued executive education programs at esteemed institutions such as the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, Stanford Law School, and The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

A Storied Career

Rosalind Brewer’s impressive career spans various major corporations, demonstrating her trailblazing achievements:

  • Kimberly-Clark (1984-2006): Brewer’s 22-year tenure at Kimberly-Clark saw her rise to leadership roles, ultimately becoming the global president of the company.
  • Walmart and Sam’s Club (2006-2017): Joining Walmart in 2006, Brewer rapidly ascended through the ranks, culminating in her role as the first black woman to lead a Walmart division – the president and CEO of Sam’s Club.
  • Starbucks (2017-2021): Brewer’s transition to Starbucks marked a historic moment as she became both the first black and first woman COO and group president. She oversaw operations in the United States, Canada, and Latin America.
  • Walgreens Boots Alliance (2021-2023): Appointed as the CEO of Walgreens Boots Alliance, Brewer became the only current black woman leading a Fortune 500 company, further solidifying her pioneering status.

Diversity and Inclusion Advocate

Brewer’s impact goes beyond corporate success; she has been an outspoken advocate for diversity and inclusion. Her 2015 CNN interview, where she emphasised the importance of diversity within her team, sparked public discussion. Despite facing criticism, Brewer remained steadfast in her commitment to promoting diverse and inclusive teams.

In her role at Starbucks, Brewer addressed a high-profile racial incident by implementing policy changes and initiating racial bias training, showcasing her proactive approach to diversity and inclusion issues.

Awards and Recognition

Rosalind Brewer’s influence is evident in numerous accolades, including features on Forbes’ and Fortune’s “Most Powerful Women” lists. She has received the Spelman College Legacy of Leadership award and was part of the inaugural Forbes 50 Over 50 list, acknowledging her advocacy for diversity and her trailblazing career.

Personal Life

Beyond her professional achievements, Brewer is married to John Brewer, and the couple has two children. Her ability to balance a successful family life with a groundbreaking career adds another dimension to her inspiring journey.

Legacy of Excellence

Rosalind G. Brewer’s career and advocacy exemplify visionary leadership and a dedication to diversity and inclusion. Her rise to corporate summits sets a compelling example for future generations, breaking barriers and redefining leadership with determination and dedication. Brewer’s legacy as a prominent woman and black female executive resonates as a testament to her resilience and unwavering pursuit of excellence.



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