Mellody Hobson

Mellody Hobson will become vice chair at Starbucks once chairman Howard Schultz steps down from his post at the end of the month, Black Enterprise reports.

Hobson, who is the president of the largest Black-owned money management firm in the U.S., Ariel Investments, LLC., currently serves as a director on Starbucks’ board. She has also served on the boards of Estée Lauder, DreamWorks Animation and Groupon, according to Fortune.

Schultz announced on Monday that he will be stepping down as chairman at the coffee chain, which he’s been a part of for 30 years. It is rumored that he is considering a run for president in 2020.

The Chicago native joined Ariel Investments as an intern in 1999 and worked her way up the ranks to become president of the firm that manages $13 billion in assets.



“My life was altered by meeting her, and that’s not something I say lightly,” said Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, who credits Hobson with inspiring her to write her book Lean In. “She is such a big part of my path taken. I think she does that for everyone.”

Former JCPenney CEO Myron E. Ullman will take over for Schultz as Starbucks’ new chairman of the board.



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