Sam’s Club CEO Talks Diversity and White Men Are Outraged; Comments Deemed ‘Racist’

Stephen A. Crockett Jr.
Rosalind Brewer in 2010
Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Sam's Club CEO Rosalind Brewer is in hot water with white men after a CNN interview in which she championed diversity and talked about an experience meeting with a supplier who had no representation of women or people of color.

"It has to start with top leadership," Brewer said regarding the way she promotes diversity within her company, Yahoo! Finance reports. "My executive team is very diverse, and I make that a priority. I demand it within my team."


Brewer then added: "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 female, like, levels down. So I'm going to place a call to him."

The comment caused uproar on Twitter, with several people calling Brewer's comments "racist" to white men. Yahoo! Finance points out that Brewer's executive team is made up of eight people, four of whom are white men. But that didn't stop the Twitter mob, which proclaimed that it had spent its last dollar at the big-box wholesale store.


Several took to the store's Facebook page to voice their outrage.

"As a white male I'm deeply offended by the remarks of your employee," one person wrote on Sam's Club's Facebook page. "We will not be patronizing Sam's Club until this is corrected."


"Racism is alive and well in America," another user wrote. "I will never spend a dime in a Sam's club!"

Those offended by Brewer's comments are going to have a tough time shopping, since Wal-Mart, Sam's Club's parent company, is standing behind Brewer's statement.


"For years we've asked our suppliers to prioritize the talent and diversity of their sales teams calling on our company," Wal-Mart CEO Doug McMillon told Yahoo! Finance.

"Roz was simply trying to reiterate that we believe diverse and inclusive teams make for a stronger business," he said. "That's all there is to it, and I support that important ideal."


Read more at Yahoo! Finance

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