Starbucks just named Mellody Hobson as the new chair of its board of directors, making her the first Black woman to hold the role at the company, reports CNN Business.

Hobson is currently the co-CEO of Ariel Investments, an asset management firm, and will step into her new position this forthcoming March. Since 2005, she has been a director at the company and will now replace Myron E. Ullman, III who has been the chair since 2018.

Hobson has been among the many who’ve called for companies to put action behind increasing diversity among their leaders.

“Companies right now have to get their houses in order,” she said during an appearance on “CBS This Morning” in June. “The board of directors has to hold the leaders of these organizations accountable around these issues of diversity.”

As a woman that wears many hats, Hobson is also a director of JPMorgan Chase and previously held positions as a director of Estée Lauder and was the chair of the board of DreamWorks Animation.

Hobson says she’s “thrilled and honored to take on the role of chair.” Hobson also added that for “over nearly two decades,” she’s “Seen the company continue to elevate and transform its business.”

In October, the company set goals to raise the number of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), employees across the board, according to CNN.


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