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Narasimhan Assumes CEO Role at Starbucks

Specialty Food Association

Starbucks has announced, effective today, that Laxman Narasimhan has assumed the role of CEO and will join the company’s board of directors. Narasimhan was named incoming CEO on September 1, 2022, succeeding company founder and former CEO, Howard Schultz.

Narasimhan, who joined the company as incoming CEO on October 1, 2022, brings nearly 30 years of experience leading global consumer goods businesses and advising retail, grocery, restaurant, and ecommerce companies. Over the past five months, he has embarked on an immersion experience, traveling to work with employees in over 30 stores, manufacturing plants and in support centers around the world. He became immersed in the reinvention plans for the company led by Schultz who returned as interim CEO last April.

Since Schultz returned last year, Starbucks unveiled a company-wide reinvention strategy and continued to deliver on more than $1 billion in investments in retail partners and stores for prioritized areas such as increased pay and sick time accrual, new financial well-being benefits, modernized training and collaboration, store innovation, and equipment and the celebration of coffee, according to Starbucks.

“The board wants to express our sincerest thanks to our founder, Howard Schultz, for selflessly picking up the leadership mantle when asked—forgoing compensation and putting aside his own pursuits—for the love of our company and its partners,” said Mellody Hobson, Independent Starbucks Board of Directors chair, in a statement. “We would not be where we are without him.”

Narasimhan will lead Starbucks' Annual Shareholder Meeting this Thursday, March 23.

“I am humbled to officially step into my role as Starbucks chief executive officer, leading our incredible team of more than 450,000 green apron partners around the world. The foundation Howard has laid – building from scratch an iconic global brand fueled by a lasting passion to uplift humanity – is truly remarkable, and I am honored to have the opportunity to build on this deep heritage,” said Narasimhan, in a statement. “As a human connection business, we have limitless possibilities to deliver for our partners, our customers, our investors and our communities through every cup and every connection. I am excited to work alongside our partners worldwide to unlock the limitless future of Starbucks.”

Related: Starbucks, DoorDash Partner in Canada; Hy-Vee Seeks Diverse Suppliers.