NEXT: Atlanta’s Rosalind Brewer is joining Starbucks’ Board of Directors

Rosalind Brewer will leave her post as president and CEO of Sam’s Club in Bentonville, Ark., this month having been the first woman and the first African American to fill the role of chief executive officer at one of Wal-Mart Stores’ divisions.

In a January announcement, Brewer called the company where she’s spent a decade her second family. “When I first joined in 2006, I had a choice about where to come to work. I saw then how clearly we help people to save money and live better while supporting the communities we serve,” she said. “I knew there was no better place to be if I wanted to make a difference, and I’m proud to have contributed to that mission in a meaningful way.”

Brewer graced the cover of AT's March 2012 Superwoman Issue

Brewer graced the cover of AT’s March 2012 Superwoman Issue

In less than a year, Sam’s Club’s new strategy has led to three consecutive quarters of improving comp sales, according to Brewer. As well, the membership-only retail warehouse’s offering more premium products and higher-end brands; a completely refreshed private label; and a commitment to transforming the shopping experience has resulted in game-changing digital innovation and grown online sales to record industry highs, she says. “I can step away knowing Sam’s is well positioned for the future.”

The chairman of Spelman College’s Board of Trustees plans to relocate to Atlanta where she intends to focus on her own personal growth. “If life is a classroom, then I am one of its most ardent students. Everyone needs to stay fresh and I’m ready for the next stretch.”

Hinting at what’s on the horizon for her and husband John, Brewer said she looks forward to a new challenges and “the broader plan” that the two have been developing for some time.

Mary Schmidt Campbell, the president of Spelman College said the college is “thrilled that [Brewer’s] move will give her even more time to provide stellar leadership to the Board of Trustees, as we launch the College’s new strategic vision.” AT

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