In a letter to partners, ceo Kevin Johnson announced the appointment of Dennis Brockman as the company’s global chief inclusion and diversity officer. Brockman, who is a 13-year partner, will be responsible for the company’s global I&D strategy, building a culture of I&D leadership excellence and accountability.
As you know, we have been engaged in a daily dialogue over issues of race, inclusion, equity, and opportunity. And on any given day we are reminded of the considerable work we have yet to do as a society—and as a company— in the fight for inclusion and equality. Today, for example, we’re witnessing increasing numbers of racist acts and deplorable, heart-breaking hate against the Asian American Pacific Islander community. This weekend we will remember the anniversary of the assaults on civil rights marchers on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, and reflect upon how far we’ve come and how little has changed in 56 years.
For all of us at Starbucks, each day we must reaffirm our responsibility to one another — to care for each other, to strengthen our communities, and to ensure diverse perspectives are represented at the company’s highest levels. We have committed to do so with intention, with transparency, and with accountability.
Against that backdrop, and in line with our enduring commitment to inclusion and diversity, it is my great pleasure to share with you that Dennis Brockman has accepted the responsibility as Starbucks chief inclusion & diversity officer, along with the well-earned promotion to senior vice president.
So many of you know Dennis and understand why he is the right person for this role and our efforts to meet these historic challenges. He’s been a partner, a leader, and a mentor on the retail side of our business for 13 years, most recently as the Midwest regional vice president. He has an unparalleled understanding of Starbucks culture, a deep connection to our partners, and a vision for advancing inclusion, diversity, and equity throughout our company at all levels. Dennis took on the chief inclusion and diversity officer role on an interim basis in December of last year, and in that time Angela Lis and I have had the great opportunity to get even closer to the I&D team and assess the leadership structure and talent we need to deliver on our critical commitments and goals.
Dennis will continue to report to me and serve on the U.S. leadership team and will be responsible for continuing our overall global I&D strategy, building a culture of I&D leadership excellence and accountability, developing I&D ambassadors throughout the organization globally, fostering mentorship and other professional development, and amplifying and operationalizing I&D within the U.S. business.
Dennis, this promotion is so well deserved. Know that partners around the world are cheering you on as we continue our journey forward together to be a more inclusive, diverse and equitable company. I look forward to strengthening our partnership.
Congratulations as well to Michael Hines for his well-deserved promotion to vice president, Inclusion & Diversity. Michael joined the I&D team during a critical time this past August and quickly rose to great challenges, bringing over 25 years of progressive, strategic and operational HR experience and deep subject matter expertise in I&D compliance and analytics at a time during which we were making bold commitments for our future at Starbucks. In his new role, Michael will be responsible for leading the new I&D centers of excellence around compliance, analytics, policy, learning and development intended to further strengthen I&D throughout Starbucks.
Please help me in congratulating Dennis and Michael on their promotions and supporting them in the work ahead. We look forward to sharing more with you soon on the progress we are making, the ongoing partner I&D and Partner Network programming, as well as our annual Civil Rights Assessment that will be published later this month.
Reflecting on Rep. John Lewis and other young civil rights advocates walking across that bridge in Alabama, I am reminded of his profound wisdom, and words: “Take a long, hard look down the road you will have to travel once you have made a commitment to work for change. Know that this transformation will not happen right away. Change often takes time. It rarely happens all at once…”
Let love be our guide. That is our journey. And our only way forward is together.
With great respect and gratitude,