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Starbucks names Laxman Narasimhan as next CEO

The Seattle-based coffee giant has named Laxman Narasimhan its new CEO, with the former head of Reckitt Benckiser now tasked with implementing the reinvention strategy spearheaded by interim CEO Howard Schultz across the chain's 35,000+ stores around the world

Narasimhan will be responsible for overseeing Starbucks’ reinvention strategy, currently spearheaded by Interim CEO Howard Schultz | Photo credit: Starbucks

 

Starbucks has announced that Laxman Narasimhan will become the company’s next CEO on 1 October 2022. 


Narasimhan was previously CEO of Reckitt Benckiser, a UK-based health and hygiene company which manufactures and distributes products including Nurofen, Gaviscon and Durex products. 


Narasimhan has also served as Global Chief Commercial Officer at PepsiCo, as well as CEO of PepsiCo Latin America and Chief Financial Officer of PepsiCo Americas Foods. 


Narasimhan will be responsible for overseeing Starbucks’ reinvention strategy, currently spearheaded by interim CEO Howard Schultz, which includes a drive to improve working conditions for staff, implementing the company’s ambitious sustainability goals and driving innovation in customer experience.

Specific details for the plan are expected to be shared during the company’s investor meeting on 13 September 2022. 
 

“Starbucks commitment to uplift humanity through connection and compassion has long distinguished the company, building an unrivaled, globally admired brand that has transformed the way we connect over coffee. I am humbled to be joining this iconic company at such a pivotal time, as the reinvention and investments in the partner and customer experiences position us to meet the changing demands we face today and set us up for an even stronger future,” said Narasimhan. 
 

Starbucks reaffirmed that Schultz will continue as interim CEO until 1 April 2023 and serve as an advisor to Narasimhan throughout the next calendar year. Schultz will also remain on Starbucks Board of Directors. 


Schultz, who returned to lead Starbucks for the third time in April 2022, said that Narasimhan’s experience and perspectives will be a ‘strong asset’ as Starbucks builds ‘on our heritage in this new era of greater well-being'. 

"I am thrilled to announce Laxman Narasimhan will join us as the next chief executive officer of Starbucks. He brings the ideal background, knowledge, and demonstrated track record of living his values to lead Starbucks into the future. Put simply, Laxman is steeped in humility with extraordinary executive and operational skills," Shultz added in a post on social media.


Starbucks is the world’s largest coffee chain, operating more than 35,000 stores globally. In August 2022 the company posted record quarterly results of $8.2bn revenues, 8% higher than in the same period during 2021. 


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