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Sara Trilling appointed President of Starbucks North America

Starbucks has appointed Sara Trilling as Executive Vice President and President of Starbucks North America, with her leadership cited as ‘new era at Starbucks’

Sara Trilling, formerly head of Starbucks APAC division, has been appointed its North American President | Photo credit: Starbucks


Starbucks has appointed Sara Trilling, formerly head of the coffee chain’s Asia-Pacific (APAC) division, as its new North American President, with predecessor Rossann Williams leaving the company. 

As Executive Vice President and President of Starbucks North America, the Seattle-based coffee chain says that Trilling is responsible for ‘driving operational excellence’ and supporting more than 240,000 Starbucks employees across the brand’s 18,000 North American stores. 

As President of Starbucks Asia Pacific, Trilling helped to grow Starbucks retail store count and digital offerings to meet increasing customer demand across the 14 markets in the region. 

Starting her career with Starbucks in 2002, Trilling has also served as Regional Vice President in Florida, where company operations reached profitable growth under her leadership, and Vice President of Evolution Fresh, from 2011-2013. While in the role, she led Evolution Fresh’s integration within the Starbucks brand, relaunched the brand and extended the brand nationally across premium grocery outlets. Starbucks recently sold the premium juice brand to Bolthouse Farms

Former North American President Rossann Williams is leaving the company after 17 years during which she also worked as EMEA Vice President of Operations, Senior Vice President of Global Talent Management and Senior Vice President of Starbucks Canada. 

More recently, Williams had been engaged in dialogue with Starbucks store workers amid a growing unionisation movement in the US.  

An internal memo to employees seen by several US news outlets did not detail the reason for her departure but did state that Williams was offered another position with the company, which she declined. In the memo Starbucks reportedly said the announcement represented ‘a difficult, but necessary change’ and enables ‘new leadership for a new era at Starbucks’. 

There are over 15,500 Starbucks stores in the US, and more than 1,400 in Canada, both licensed and company operated. The Seattle-based coffee chain operates more than 34,000 stores globally. 

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