It has been officially announced that Mellody Hobson will become Starbucks new Vice Chair when Howard Schultz steps down at the closing of the month. Mellody Hobson is a well respected businesswoman who is nothing short of amazing! She is President of Ariel Investments, which currently manages over $13 billion in assets. Hobson has a long extensive resume which not only includes Ariel Investment but also DreamWorks Animation, she became the first African American to head Economic Club of Chicago, she is a regular columnist for Black Enterprise, and she has educated viewers on financial choices on Good Morning America since 2009. Hobson’s resume of course does not stop there but these are just a few to shed a little light to understand just how influential she is!
Starbucks, a Fortune 500 company, was recently in the news due to a very disturbing video gone viral for accusations of discrimination and racial profiling as a result of two black men being arrested for waiting on colleagues in one of Starbucks Philadelphia stores. This particular situation sparked an outrage nation wide that Starbucks could not ignore even if they wanted to. This, for many, is yet another instance where people of color have been mishandled, prejudged, and blatantly offended. Starbucks quickly set themselves apart from falling into gaining a reputation from the black community as part of modern racism. Starbucks did issue a corporate apology on Good Morning America, and CEO Kevin Johnson went public calling the incident “reprehensible”.
As much as the black community appreciated the quick response from the Fortune 500 company, the black dollar was snatched out of the hands of Starbucks as people of melanin petitioned boycotts around the nation. The collaboration of Hobson and Starbucks was the best decision Starbucks could have made. Making a very big statement to the black community because after all, the best apologies are changed behavior. We look forward to seeing what Ms. Mellody Hobson does in her new role! Congratulations going out Hobson on a very deserving position!