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Starbucks Corp. Group President and Chief Operating Officer Rosalind Brewer has been named as the newest member of the Amazon.com Inc. board. She succeeds John Seely Brown, former Xerox Chief Scientist who did not seek re-election to the board this year.
With Brewer’s new position also comes as appointment to the board’s leadership development and compensation committee. She was also granted 570 shares of Amazon stock. Previously she has served CEO of Sam’s Club, chair of the board of trustee at Spelman College, her alma mater, and a member of the Lockheed Martin Corporation board of directors.
Currently Brewer is the only African American and the second African-American woman in the company’s history on Amazon’s 10-person board. She joins three other women: Former Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, President and CEO of Martha’s Table Patricia Stonesifer and former chairwoman and CEO of MTV Networks Judith McGrath.
At Amazon’s 2017 shareholder meeting Rev. Jesse Jackson, a shareholder, warned Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos that a lack of diversity in leadership can lead to a company resembling Mount Rainier: “black at the bottom, white at the top.”
At the 2018 shareholder meeting Amazon adopted a new rule requiring that the company include women and minorities in its candidate pool for all open board seats after facing pressure from employees, shareholders and the Congressional Black Caucus to improve diversity. An Amazon spokesperson told Recode that Brewer was already being “actively recruited” before the rule was created.