Before stepping into her role as Sam's Club CEO in 2012, Brewer served six years in executive roles with Wal-Mart and 22 years at Kimberly-Clark, where she worked her way up from a research technician to president of manufacturing and operations.
During her time at Sam's Club, Brewer connected with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz in a very unexpected way.
According to Fortune, Schultz came to the retailer's Bentonville, Arkansas, headquarters in 2016 for a panel discussion with Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon. But when McMillon had to cancel at the last minute, he called on Brewer to stand-in (Sam's Club is owned by Wal-Mart.)
From there, the two continued to build on their relationship, with Brewer and her team visiting Starbucks' flagship "roastery" in Seattle, where Schultz asked Brewer if she would consider joining the company's board. Fortune reports that Brewer initially declined Schultz's offer, but joined Starbucks board earlier this year after stepping down from her leadership position at Sam's Club.
Kevin Johnson, who took over as Starbucks CEO in April, tells Fortune that Brewer's impressive work as a board member is what made him consider her for the COO role about two months ago as other board members agreed that she would be a great addition to the company's executive team.
"She has been a trusted strategic counselor to me ever since she joined our board of directors, and I deeply value her insight, business acumen and leadership expertise," Johnson said in a press release.