business news in context, analysis with attitude

…with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Seattle Times reports that Amazon has named Rosalind G. Brewer, the former Walmart executive who currently is Starbucks COO, to its board of directors.

The story notes that Brewer, who was identified as “one of the most powerful women in business” last year by Fortune, “was appointed to Amazon’s leadership development and compensation committee.”

This makes sense for lots of reasons - can you think of two companies that have redefined retail and a single city - Seattle - more than Amazon and Starbucks? And, this increases to four the number of women on Amazon’s 10-person board (she replaces a man) … and that is a step in the right direction. But I have to admit I was surprised that, as the Times reports, “Brewer is the second African-American woman selected for Amazon’s board. Myrtle Potter, a pharmaceuticals executive, was on the company’s board from 2004 to 2009.”

• Jeff Stephens, who began working for Publix Super Markets 38 years ago as a rail dock associate, and now is the company’s vice president of manufacturing, has announced his retirement, effective May 1.
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