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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.

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 on Monday.

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.

Still, African-Americans have made small gains in diversifying corporate boards. Black men increased their boardroom presence by 2 percent and Black women by 18.4 from 2012 to 2016, according to a multi-year study by the Alliance for Board Diversity (ABD).

The ABD report found that Blacks had the highest rate among all demographics of serving on multiple boards, which falls right in step with Hobson’s professional achievements, according to Ronald C. Parker, ABD’s chairman.

It’s an indication “that companies are going to the same individuals rather than expanding the pool of African-American candidates for board membership,” Parker told the New York Times last year.





Mellody Hobson Will Become Starbucks Vice Chair was originally published on newsone.com

8 thoughts on “Mellody Hobson Will Become Starbucks Vice Chair

  1. Really on said:

    I don’t think she is an affirmative action candidate . FYI she is an very educated financial stradegist she hapoens to be married to one of the richest white men mr Lucas. She has more brains and probably more money than most. However she is being used to reflect diversity from the Starbucks co. I guess she has no problem with it.

  2. Ted Gravely on said:

    In my opinion, Starbucks is trying to make it right. The first day of the men being arrested for sitting, the CEO put out a strong message. He is putting his money where his mouth is. I like the steps that he is taking. I bet no one saw this coming. You can’t please everyone, I’m just saying give them a chance. I think Melody will resign if she thinks her input isn’t valued. You can’t control local idiots, but you can send a message to the public about your core organizational values.

  3. Screw STARBUCKS!!!!!!
    I don’t care if they have now chosen a Woman of Color as vice-chairperson of the company.
    Ms. Hobson will only be a damn TOKEN.

    • Passing Through!! on said:

      Yep, she’ll be Starbucks token negro to prove that “We’re not racist!” see we promoted a black women to vice chair. These white corporations hire black people for face value but behind the scenes they have no real voice or power in the direction of the company.

      • Passing Through!! on said:

        Yea, just like white privilege can allow you to be dumb as f**k, a rapist and sexual assaulter of women and 13 year old girls and still become president.

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