SEATTLE, Washington — Howard Schultz announced that he will step down on Monday afternoon at the Starbucks Support Center. Mellody Hobson, will move up to the role of vice chair at the end of the month.
Melody Hobson, 49, was born in Chicago and graduated from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She joined Ariel Investments, LLC, the largest African American-owned money manager in the United States as an intern in 1999. Hobson rose through the ranks, becoming the president of the investment firm with $13 billion asset under management — earning honors as No.1 on the BE Asset Managers list in 2003.
She has been a financial contributor on Good Morning America, the featured consumer finance expert on Tom Joyner’s Money Mondays radio program, and a regular columnist for Black Enterprise.
Hobson has also been a director at a number of public companies and institutions: DreamWorks Animation, GroupOn, The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., and Starbucks Corporation. She has also served on the boards of various civic organizations including the Field Museum, the Chicago Public Education Fund, and the Sundance Institute. She was the first African American woman to head The Economic Club of Chicago. And she was elected to JP Morgan Chase’s board of directors in March.