Starbucks CEO Steps Down, A Black Executive Steps Up

Following the departure of executive chairman Howard Schultz, an African-American woman is stepping in to take his place.

Mellody Hobson will be Starbucks’ newest vice chair. The Chicago native is a financial guru and the president of the Chicago-based , Ariel Investments, LLC, the largest black-owned management investment firm with $13 billion asset under management . The 49 year-old is a wife and mother of one.

Photo Credit: Facebook/Mellody Hobson

According to Fortune magazine, Hobson has been a member on the coffee giant’s board of directors since 2005 and has also served on the board for DreamWorks Animation, Estee Lauder, the Sundance Institute, the Chicago’s Field Museum, the Public Education Fund, and Groupon.  She was recently elected to JPMorgan Chase’s board of directors in March. Hobson is also the first African-American woman to head the economic club of Chicago and is a advocate for promoting financial literacy in inner-city communities. Beyond her work in the boardroom, Hobson is a financial contributor for ABC’s Good Morning America, a consumer finance expert on Tom Joyner’s radio show and a featured columnist on Black Enterprise.