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Laxman Narasimhan takes charge as the new Global CEO of Starbucks

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Laxman Narasimhan was named incoming chief executive officer on 1 September 2022, succeeding company founder and now former chief executive officer, Howard Schultz

Bengaluru: Laxman Narasimhan has officially assumed the role of chief executive officer (CEO) of the coffeehouse chain Starbucks today, the Seattle-based company announced on Monday on its website. Narasimhan will join the company’s board of directors.

Narasimhan was named incoming chief executive officer on 1 September 2022, succeeding company founder and now former chief executive officer, Howard Schultz. Narasimhan was earlier supposed to assumed charge as the head of the world’s largest coffee chain on April 1 but the Seattle-based giant has advanced his appointment by about two weeks.

“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.

Narasimhan joined the company as incoming chief executive officer on 1 October 2022, bringing nearly 30 years of experience managing global consumer goods businesses and advising retail, grocery, restaurant and e-commerce companies.

Over the past five months, he has embarked on a unique immersion experience, traveling to work with partners (employees) in over 30 stores, manufacturing plants and in support centers around the world, earning his barista certification along the way. He became immersed in the reinvention plans for the company led by Schultz who returned as interim CEO effective April 4, 2022.

As he ascends into the role, Narasimhan will continue engaging the leadership team, sharing his early learnings and insights and assessing opportunities for the company as they chart a path forward.

Prior to joining Starbucks, Narasimhan served in leadership roles at PepsiCo, Reckitt (consumer health, hygiene and nutrition company) and McKinsey & Company.

“Laxman’s intensive immersion into the business coupled with his extensive experience as a proven brand builder, innovator and operator have uniquely prepared him to lead Starbucks into its next phase of growth,” said Mellody Hobson, independent Starbucks board of directors chair.

Founded in 1971, Starbucks is an American multinational chain of coffeehouses and roastery reserves headquartered in Seattle, Washington. Today, the company operates more than 36,000 stores worldwide.

With this appointment, Narsimhan joins the elite club of Indian-origin chief executive officers who head reputed global companies. Some of the names on the list include Leena Nair of Chanel, Raj Subramaniam of FedEx, Sandeep Kataria of Bata, Sundar Pichai of Google and Satya Nadella of Microsoft.

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