In the field of Investment Banking, not many people have had a career as expansive and fulfilling as Mellody Hobson. Her career which has spanned over 20 years has seen her become the first Black woman to be the chairperson of an S & P 500 company when she was named the chairwoman of Starbucks Corp.
Mellody Hobson was born on April 3, 1969, in Chicago, Illinois. She was the youngest of six children and graduated from St. Ignatius College Preparatory in 1987. Afterwards, she attended Princeton University, where she received a B.A. from the Woodrow Wilson School of International Relations in 1991.
She is married to film director and producer, George Lucas. They have a daughter together, Everest Hobson Lucas, who was born via surrogacy in August 2013
Mellody Hobson, Hobson interned at investment firms Ariel Capital Management and T. Rowe Price Associates while in college, taking a position as a graduate intern in the former after her graduation. She was in charge of overseeing client service and taking part in strategic planning. In 1994, she suffered a career blip after her work company, Ariel Capital Management, broke off from its parent company Calvert Group. This led to an asset drop of about $100 million from the company. Since then, Mellody Hobson rose to become President of Ariel Capital Management with the company now managing $10 billion in assets.
Melody Hobson is also the former chairwoman of DreamWorks Animation, a role she stepped down from after negotiating the acquisition of DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc., by NBCUniversal in August 2016. She also became the first African-American woman to head The Economic Club of Chicago.
She was named as Vice-Chair of Starbucks Corporation on June 4th, 2018; and after heading the finance committee, she was elected to Chair the board in 2020.
She alongside her foundation, Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation, made the lead gift to establish a new residential college at Princeton University. Hobson College will be the first residential college at Princeton named for a Black woman and will be built on the site of First College, formerly known as Wilson College.
Mellody Hobson also serves on the board of many organizations, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., the Chicago Public Education Fund, the Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, and the Sundance Institute. She is also on the board of directors of the Starbucks Corporation, and formerly of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc.
In 2009, Ebony named her one of the 30 Leaders of the Future, and Crain’s Chicago Business has listed her as one of its annual 40 Under 40.
As of 2020, she is listed as #94 in the Forbes list of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women. Mellody Hobson was inducted as a Laureate of The Lincoln Academy of Illinois and awarded the Order of Lincoln (the State’s highest honour) by the Governor of Illinois in 2018.