Home Big Grid Laxman Narasimhan to be Starbucks next Global CEO

Laxman Narasimhan to be Starbucks next Global CEO


Starbucks Global has appointed Laxman Narasimhan as the company’s next chief executive officer and as a member of its Board of Directors. Narasimhan will join Starbucks as incoming CEO on October 1, 2022 and will work closely with Howard Schultz, interim CEO, before taking on the mantle of CEO and joining the Board on April 1, 2023. Incumbent Howard Schultz will continue as interim CEO until April 1, 2023 and serve as an advisor to Narasimhan through calendar 2023 while remaining on Starbucks Board of Directors.

During the transition period, Narasimhan will work with Schultz and the management team, partners and customers to gain in-depth exposure to the brand, company culture, and reinvention plan. He will experience first hand the gamut of Starbuck’s operations, including store immersions, functioning of manufacturing plants and coffee farms besides connecting with partners around the globe as well as Starbucks long-term business partners.

“Laxman is 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. 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.

“Laxman is the right leader to take Starbucks to 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. I greatly look forward to our partnership over the coming months and years,” said Schultz.

Narasimhan brings nearly 30 years of experience leading and advising global consumer-facing brands. Most recently, he served as chief executive officer of Reckitt, a FTSE-12 listed multinational consumer health, hygiene and nutrition company, where he led the company through a major strategic transformation and a return to sustainable growth. Known for his considerable operational expertise, he has a proven track record in developing purpose-led brands.

In his earlier stints, Narasimhan has 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. Prior to PepsiCo, Narasimhan was a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, where he focused on its consumer, retail and technology practices in the U.S., Asia and India and led the firm’s thinking on the future of retail.

Narasimhan holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering, University of Pune, India. He has an MA in German and International Studies from The Lauder Institute at The University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.