Mellody Hobson to Become Starbucks Vice Chair

Mellody Hobson
Mellody Hobson

Mellody Hobson climbed another rung on the ladder of success in the Fortune 500 business world, as she solidified her role on Starbucks’ board while holding down two other top board memberships. Few African-Americans have multiple board membership on the nation’s wealthiest companies.

Hobson, a graduate of Princeton University and considered an expert on matters of personal finance, often speaking on panels and featured on television news shows.

Starbucks’ board of directors on Monday appointed Hobson as its vice chair shortly after longtime chairman Howard Schultz announced his retirement, the company said in a statement.

Hobson’s promotion to the number two position came as Starbucks has been in the throes of damage control following a high-profile episode of racial profiling when two Black men were arrested at a Philadelphia store in April because they didn’t order anything. Last Tuesday, the company closed 8,000 stores nationwide for an afternoon of anti-bias training.

Fortune 500 boards are dominated by white men, but Hobson, who has served on Starbucks’ board since 2005, has defied the odds. JP Morgan Chase & Co. also appointed her to its board and she has been on Estee Lauder‘s board since 2004.

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