Mellody Hobson Elevated to Co-CEO of Ariel Investments

Ariel Investments, LLC Founder, Chairman and CEO John W. Rogers, Jr. announced recently that current President Mellody Hobson has been elevated to the position of Co-CEO. Hobson’s promotion recognizes her longstanding commitment and unparalleled leadership. Rogers will continue to oversee firm-wide research in his capacity as Chief Investment Officer, manage Ariel’s flagship domestic equity portfolios and provide oversight to the firm as Chairman of the Board and Co-CEO.

“Mellody has been an energetic and relentless member of the Ariel family since she joined nearly 28 years ago,” said Ariel Investments Founder, Chairman and Co-CEO John Rogers. “Her elevation to Co-CEO recognizes the reality that we have both led this firm for many years. Ariel and our clients are in terrific hands with Mellody sitting at the helm alongside me and I know she will take our firm to the next level.”

Hobson’s leadership has been invaluable to Ariel, where she has been President for more than 19 years. She has also served in the boardrooms of some of the largest publicly traded companies around the world. She is the Vice Chairman of Starbucks Corporation, a director at JPMorgan Chase and Quibi, a short-form video content company. She was a longtime board member of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. and also served as the Chairman of the Board of DreamWorks Animation.

“Ariel has been my home for nearly three decades and I am excited about the profound possibilities for the next chapter of our storied history,” said Ariel Investments Co-CEO Mellody Hobson. “Ariel has always focused on delivering exceptional long-term results for our clients and I will continue that tradition as Co-CEO.”

In his letter to clients and friends of the firm, Rogers explained that:

“In an effort to better align both our titles and equity, Mellody will soon purchase approximately 14% of my holdings. Upon completion of this transaction, which is scheduled to close on or before July 19, 2019, I will own 34.1% of Ariel and she will hold 39.5%. Ariel employees and board members own 21.8% with the remaining 4.6% held by a small number of outsiders. Both her promotion as well as this share purchase represent a long-planned generational transition of leadership and ownership while simultaneously allowing us to maintain continuity. As many know, I have never been a seller of my Ariel stock and these are the only shares that I ever plan to sell. I am happily doing so to level the playing field.”

Rogers added, “Research drives our investment results and is the cornerstone of everything we do. With Mellody as Co-CEO, even more of my attention will be focused on ensuring we continue to deliver exemplary performance for our investors.”

And while the firm is deliberately considering succession planning, Rogers made clear in his letter that he will continue managing the firm’s stock portfolios for at least another decade, if not more.

Read the letter from Founder, Chairman and Co-CEO John Rogers to clients and friends of Ariel Investments.

Read Ms. Hobson’s biography or to learn more about Ariel’s leadership team here.


About Ariel Investments

Ariel Investments, LLC is a money management firm headquartered in Chicago, with offices in New York City and Sydney. Ariel Investment Trust is comprised of five no-load mutual funds: Ariel Fund (its flagship fund), Ariel Appreciation Fund, Ariel Focus Fund, Ariel International Fund, and Ariel Global Fund. As of June 30, 2019, Ariel Investments’ firm-wide assets under management totaled approximately $13.0 billion. For more information about the firm, please visit Ariel’s website at

Note to Reader: Mellody Hobson wrote one of GreenMoney’s most insightful articles, some years ago, entitled “Women and the Future of Investing”. Read her April 2015 article here.

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