Rising through the ranks and reaching an executive position is a personal achievement. Given the low number of women who hold executive ranks it also becomes a social achievement if a woman reaches a top post. Even more so if one is African American.
This is the case with Rosalind G. Brewer. On February 1, 2012 she became the CEO of Sam’s Club. This made her the first woman and first African-American to hold a CEO position at one of Wal-Mart’s business unit. Brewer will also be president of Sam’s Club.
Prior to this position Brewer who is 49 years of age was the president of the east business unit of Wal-Mart. In that position she was responsible for more than $100 billion in annual revenue with 1,600 stores and 500,000 associates. Brewer reports directly to Wal-Mart President and CEO Mike Duke.
Sam’s Club is actually a smaller business unit than her previous post. It has 610 stores with $49 billion annual revenues in 2011. This business unit though has outperformed Wal-Mart stores in terms of actual growth. Brewer thus has a very challenging job ahead of her.
Brewer joined Wal-Mart in 2006 as regional vice president overseeing operations in Georgia. Before that she worked for Kimberly-Clark Corporation where she rose through the ranks before becoming president of a key business sector in 2004.
She is an achiever with still more mountains to climb.