Liu will work alongside Chairwoman and CEO Belinda Wong to accelerate Starbucks’ outlet growth in China, where it is seeking to reach 9,000 stores by 2025
Molly Liu (pictured) has served as Chief Operating Officer of Starbucks China since October 2021
Starbucks has announced that Molly Liu has been promoted to Executive Vice President and Co-CEO of Starbucks China, effective 2 October 2023.
Liu will serve alongside Belinda Wong who will continue in her position as Chairwoman and CEO, roles she has held since May 2011.
Having joined Starbucks in 2012, Liu has served as Vice President of Digital Ventures for Starbucks China since July 2016 and assumed the additional role of Chief Operating Officer in October 2021.
In a press release Starbucks said Liu had been key in leading its accelerated outlet expansion in China, the coffee chain’s second largest market with approximately 6,500 stores.
As Vice President of Digital Ventures, she is credited with overseeing the launch of the Starbucks Delivers and Starbucks Now digital ordering services, which collectively contributed 48% of the coffee chain’s sales in China in its third quarter.
Additionally, Liu helped establish the Starbucks Rewards programme in China, which has gained more than 20 million active members since launching in 2011.
“Molly is a strong leader who has been instrumental in elevating the Starbucks Experience for our Chinese customers and driving industry-leading innovation for our China business. There remains tremendous opportunity for Starbucks in China, and I’m confident that together, Belinda and Molly, will lead Starbucks through our next chapter,” said Laxman Narasimhan, CEO, Starbucks.
In May 2023, Narasimhan said Starbucks was committed to reaching 9,000 stores in China by 2025 despite slower outlet growth during two years of Covid disruption.
Starbucks’ third quarter revenues in China increased 8% quarter-on-quarter and 51% year-on-year to $822m, driven by a 48% increase in comparable transactions.