Starbucks COO Rosalind Brewer on race and leadership
Hi I'm Jonathan Kaye. PART AND WELCOME TO CAPE UP A couple of weeks ago. You heard my conversation with Pamela. newkirk about after book on the failure of the multibillion dollar diversity business today. I'm bringing you rosalind brewer. The CEO of starbucks. We sat down for a live event at the Aspen Ideas Festival in June to talk about race leadership what happened in Philadelphia starbucks and her own experience of being the only black person in the room and you can hear it all right now so good morning everyone. Thank you very much for for being here for this morning session. Roz thank thank you for for sitting down and having this conversation about all sorts of things leadership race. The company The incident that we're all focused on in this. The focus of the conversation is what happened in April of twenty twenty eighteen in Philadelphia at a at a starbucks off of Rittenhouse Square. What you had just been named? CEO of starbucks. What four months earlier? But you weren't you weren't new to starbucks it's no no. I wasn't so first of all Jonathan. Thank you for joining me in this conversation The chance to be here and showed no. I was not new to starbucks. Sidr had joined starbucks as a member of the board of directors and I joined the member as a member of the board in March and then I came into the company as one of the members of management in October of two thousand and eight seventeen and then the incident then happened in April and given your your tenure on the board. So you're no stranger to the company or no stranger no stranger to to the culture culture when you got word of what happened in Philadelphia. How did it how did it hit you? Did it surprise you. That did not surprise you. You did it concern you so it was quite a few emotions first of all. I was travelling out that day. I was on my way to San Francisco and because I operate the stores part of operations for the stores in the. US usually out get an alert. If something's going on so I saw an alert that we had an incident in a store and when I get those alerts but this one sort of pigmy because it's it it mentioned two men then in the store so I began to kind of figure out. What's going on Lo and behold I learned that it was to African American men and so so my antenna went up immediately and as the story grew when we learned more? Two things were happening one. The incident was being being lived out on social media and secondly it was happening. It's the story of spruce eighteen in Philadelphia and area that I'm very familiar with and when I learned about the two gentlemen the thing that struck me most was these two African American males twenty three years old at the time and I have a twenty three year girl. I must almost twenty-three-year-old at that time at the same time and the first thing that happened was that I really felt like my heart stopped beating because us. I knew at that time. This was something deeply personal to me as a mom but then actually my other hat turned onto and said as a leader in the company. I felt like this happened on my watch and even though I was new to the company it was deeply I immediately felt like it was my responsibility and something had to be data. One thing that you immediately did in in addition to feeling immediately responsibility in correct me. If I'm wrong in 'cause I read this in the.