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Hoax Alert

Fake News: NEW Starbucks CEO Did NOT Admit She Doesn't Like White Peope

  • by: Maarten Schenk
  • (Thu, 17 Oct 2019 09:02:19 Z)

Did "New Starbucks CEO" Rosalind Brewer admit she doesn't like white people? No, there are several things that are not true in that statement, the most obvious one being that Brewer isn't actually the CEO of Starbucks (who happens to be a white male named Kevin Johnson). The interview with Brewer that the claim is based on also doesn't contain any admission about not liking white people in general.

The claim has been circulating a while but recently went viral again as an article published by The LA Post on October 6, 2019 titled "The NEW Starbucks CEO Has Admitted She Doesn't Like White People..." (archived here) which opened:

Starbucks is one of those places that is so pretentious that even if that was the only thing off about them there wouldn't be a whole lot of people that would admit to drinking their coffee.

The second thing is that their views are pretty much backwards of how things should really be. Wanting to hire refugees over veterans is one of those things where you couldn't get anyone with decency to drink that swill even if you paid them.

The coffee chain giant had, until recently, Howard Schultz as CEO. You might remember Howard. He is a hard-core liberal who vocally supported Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in their presidential races. He famously dismissed supporters of traditional marriage when he said any Starbucks investor who didn't support gay marriage should sell their shares and take their business elsewhere. Yeah, that guy.

Schultz stepped down as CEO in 2017, but still remains the executive chairman. Starbucks finally found his replacement, however, when they announced that Rosalind Brewer would serve as the new CEO of Starbucks. Brewer served as CEO of Sam's Club until earlier this year.

Screenshot of https://thelapost.com/2019/10/06/the-new-starbucks-ceo-has-admitted-she-doesnt-like-white-people/

Users on social media only saw this title, description and thumbnail:

The NEW Starbucks CEO Has Admitted She Doesn't Like White People...

Starbucks is one of those places that is so pretentious that even if that was the only thing off about them there wouldn't be a whole lot of people that would admit to drinking their coffee. The second thing is that their views are pretty much backwards of how things should really be. Wanting to [...]

The obvious mistake first: Howard Schultz did step down as CEO in 2017 but he was replaced by Kevin Johnson as you can read in his bio on the Starbucks website (archived here):

Kevin Johnson

Kevin Johnson is president and chief operating officer for Starbucks Corporation, leading the company's global operating businesses across the Americas, EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa), and China/Asia Pacific, as well as Starbucks supply chain, information technology, and mobile and digital platforms across more than 21,000 stores worldwide.

Rosalind Brewer does work in a leadership position at Starbucks, she is their COO (Chief Operating Officer) as you can read in her bio on the same site (archived here):

Rosalind (Roz) Brewer - Starbucks Stories

As chief operating officer and group president for Starbucks, Roz Brewer leads the company's operating businesses across the Americas (Canada, U.S. and Latin America), and Starbucks license stores as well as the global functions of marketing, technology, supply chain, product innovation, and store development organizations.

The accusation of not liking white people seems to be based on this part of an interview with CNN's Poppy Harlow she gave while working as CEO of Sam's Club back in 2015, which the article transcribes (mostly correct) like this:

"My executive team is very diverse, and I make that a priority," she told Harlow. "I demand it of my team and within the structure. And then, every now and then, you have to nudge your partners, and you have to speak up and speak out. And I try to use my platform for that. ... I try to set an example. I try to mentor many women inside my company and outside the company because I think it's important.

"And I talk to my suppliers about it. Just today we met with a supplier, and the entire other side of the table was all Caucasian males. That was interesting. I decided not to talk about it directly with [the supplier's] folks in the room because there were actually no females, like, levels down. So I'm going to place a call to him."

Here is the part of the interview in question:

That doesn't sound like a general admission she doesn't like white people. In fact, it sounds like she agrees with the opening lines of the penultimate paragraph of the LA Post article:

No one should have a problem with wanting a more diverse corporate leadership. Opening up opportunities to women and minorities is important, if not essential, to long-term success.

At least that part of the article seems to be accurate. Perhaps that should have been the headline instead of the error-filled current one.

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About the author:

Maarten Schenk is our resident expert on fake news and hoax websites. He likes to go beyond just debunking trending fake news stories and is endlessly fascinated by the dazzling variety of psychological and technical tricks used by the people and networks who intentionally spread made-up things on the internet.  He can often be found at conferences and events about fake news, disinformation and fact checking when he is not in his office in Belgium monitoring and tracking the latest fake article to go viral.

Read more about or contact Maarten Schenk

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