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Starbucks names Laxman Narasimhan as CEO

Starbucks announced that Laxman Narasimhan will become the company’s next CEO and a member of the Starbucks Board of Directors. Narasimhan will join Starbucks as the incoming CEO on October 1, 2022 and will start in the new role on April 1, 2023. In the meantime, Howard Schultz remains interim CEO. Narasimhan relocates from London to Seattle for the assignment. He brings nearly 30 years of experience leading and advising global brands. Previously, Narasimhan held various leadership roles at PepsiCo, including as global chief commercial officer, where he was responsible for the company’s long-term strategy and digital capabilities.

During the transition period, Narasimhan will work closely with Schultz and the management team, partners and customers. He will also be visiting manufacturing plants and coffee farms, connecting with Starbucks’ business partners. After the end of his interim CEO tenure, Schultz will continue as a member of the Starbucks Board of Directors. He will remain closely involved with the management and act as an ongoing advisor to Narasimhan.

“Laxman is an inspiring leader. His deep, hands-on experience driving strategic transformations at global consumer-facing businesses makes him the ideal choice to accelerate Starbucks growth and capture the opportunities ahead of us. His understanding of our culture and values, coupled with his expertise as a brand builder, innovation champion, and operational leader will be true differentiators as we position Starbucks for the next 50 years, generating value for all our stakeholders. On behalf of the entire Board, I am thrilled to welcome Laxman as Starbucks next ceo,” said Mellody Hobson, Independent Starbucks Board of Directors chair.

“When I learned about Laxman’s desire to relocate, it became apparent that he is the right leader to take Starbucks into its next chapter. He is uniquely positioned to shape this work and lead the company forward with his partner-centered approach and demonstrated track record of building capabilities and driving growth in both mature and emerging markets. As I have had the opportunity to get to know him, it has become clear that he shares our passion of investing in humanity and in our commitment to our partners, customers, and communities. The perspectives he brings will be a strong asset as we build on our heritage in this new era of greater well-being. I greatly look forward to our partnership over the coming months and years,” said Schultz.

Photo: Starbucks