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HBCU Alumna, Roz Brewer, Named Next Walgreens CEO, Becoming The First Black Woman to Lead The Fortune 500 Company

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As the next chief executive of Walgreens, Rosalind “Roz” Brewer is set to become the only Black woman leading a Fortune 500 company.

What We Know:

  • According to CNBC, Walgreens announced on Tuesday that the drugstore chain’s CEO Stefano Pessina would be replaced by Rosalind Brewer. Brewer has just parted with her position at Starbucks as Chief Operating Officer to take over this new position on March 15th, 2021.
  • Rosalind Brewer is a Detroit native and attended Spelman College for an undergraduate degree in chemistry. She went on to continue her education at the Director’s College at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and Stanford Law School. Brewer also took an advanced management program at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
  • The Wall Street Journal reports the 58-year-old’s list of achievements to include being the COO of Starbucks in 2017,  spending five years as the CEO of Walmart Inc.’s Sam’s Club, working as a scientist for 22 years at Kimberly-Clark Corp., and serving on the board of directors for companies like Amazon, Starbucks, and Lockheed Martin.
  • Former CEO and Italian billionaire, Stefano Pessina, commented on Brewer’s new position saying, “We needed someone with an experience in retail and an experience in pharmacy and, more importantly, experience in digital. She’s very thoughtful and very personable, she’s reasonable and she has all the qualities that are important for a chief executive.”

Recently, the drugstore company has been hit hard by the global pandemic and aims to beat out competitors like CVS and Amazon.

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Apple Announces New iPad Pro, Slim iMacs using Own Chips

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Apple Inc. has launched a new line of redesigned products geared towards fixing old issues and new pandemic problems.

What We Know:

  • The tech company announced a new slim iMac computer that is only 11.5 millimeters thick featuring a higher-quality video and microphone that uses its own processors to assist at-home workers to conduct smoother web meetings and projects. The computer will also come in seven different colors to choose from.
  • Similarly, the new iPad Pro will have additional ports and monitors to increase speed and mobility for content creators and gamers. The company also launched a new product called AirTags designed to help owners find lost items and manage their podcast subscription services.
  • The price for the newest iPad Pro can range anywhere between $930 to over $2000 depending on memory storage and cellular data. AirTags will cost $29 each, while the iMac will start at $1,299. All of these items will be available on April 30th, 2021. 
  • Since the pandemic started, Apple shares have risen nearly 95 percent over the past year, faster than the 63 percent rise in the Nasdaq Composite Index. The company produced a record $274.5 billion in sales last year as nationwide lockdowns pushed consumers to stock up on electronics.

Ben Bajarin, principal analyst for consumer market intelligence at Creative Strategies explained Apple’s competitive strategy stating, “The more you buy into just one hardware product, the less likely it is you’ll ever leave.”

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Old Navy to Add Pockets to Girls Jeans After 1st Grader Writes Letter

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A first-grader named Kamryn Gardner noticed her jeans had fake pockets stitched in them and addressed the brand directly in a letter.

What We Know:

  • Gardner attended Evening Star Elementary school and was initially assigned the task of writing a persuasive letter as a school assignment. Gardner decided to address Old Navy in regards to her frustration with the brand not designing pockets for girl’s jeans. She included reasons why she hopes the company will add useful pockets to their current design. The letter was sent to Old Navy’s kid’s team, who commented they would be seriously committed to considering Gardner’s input on future products. Gardner and her family appeared on the Today show on Thursday to talk about their experience with Old Navy.

Gardner’s father commented, “We’re very proud of her. She is a persuasive person. She loves to talk, she’s always excited.”

  • His daughter expressed that she also just wanted a place to keep her hand warm as well as have a convenient place to stash small toys and natural treasures. Gardner’s school also posted the letters from their student and Old Navy to their Facebook page. The post garnered the attention of hundreds of people.
  • Gardner’s mother, Kim Gardner, also teaches at the school. The first-grader originally decided to write her concerns in a letter to Old Navy back in January. Kim revealed that Kamryn always periodically expressed dissatisfaction with her jeans. Kim convinced her daughter that it would be a good life lesson to send a handwritten letter to Old Navy about her problem.
  • Gardner was sent two pairs of denim pants and two pairs of shorts as a sign from the retailer that they appreciate her feedback. The products she received all had real pockets sewn onto them. She was more than excited to reveal what Old Navy had sent her during her class’s show-and-tell day.

Old Navy spokeswoman Sandy Goldberg has since stated that although Old Navy already carries a variety of girls’ pants with pockets, the company will keep Kamryn’s request in mind as more styles are developed.

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Layoffs: BuzzFeed Reduces Staff at HuffPost Weeks After Newsrooms Merge

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Just three weeks after Buzzfeed merged with Huffpost, a massive layoff has dramatically reduced the number of Huffpost staff.

What We Know:

  • Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti announced the cut on Tuesday during a virtual staff meeting. According to The Guardian, the layoff affected nearly 30% of HuffPost’s US-based journalists and has completely shut down HuffPost Canada.
  • The job cuts came as a surprise to many employees, including those with long tenures. HuffPost Canada’s senior reporter Samantha Beatti tweeted the abrupt layoff message, writing, “Without telling us they’ve shut down our site.”

  • The Huffington Post, as it was originally called, was founded by author and businesswoman Arianna Huffington in 2005 and was co-founded by Peretti, Andrew Breitbart, and Kenneth Lerer before Peretti created Buzzfeed. This cut results from the ongoing pandemic as many media corporations look to downsize to avoid closure. Peretti told staffers the layoff was to cut costs and halt two years of financial losses after HuffPost’s exceeded $20 million last year in losses and are estimated to have similar results this year.
  • Peretti defended his decision by telling sources from CNN, “The most responsible thing we can do is to manage our costs and ensure BuzzFeed — and HuffPost — are set up to prosper long-term.” Peretti said. “That’s why we’ve made the difficult decision to restructure HuffPost to reach profitability more quickly. Our goal is for HuffPost to break even this year.”

Peretti also announced that the executive editors of HuffPost, Louise Roug, and Hillary Frey, would be leaving the company as well.

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