Laxman Narasimhan is officially CEO of Starbucks: Goodbye Howard Schultz
Nearly two weeks earlier than expected, Starbucks (NASDAQ: SBUX) on Monday said Laxman Narasimhan has assumed the role of CEO and joined the company’s board of directors. Narasimhan takes the reins from Howard Schultz, who is ending his third stint in the top job. Narasimhan was named the company’s incoming chief executive officer on October 1 of last year. The official transition was expected to happen April 1.
In addition to taking over as CEO, Narasimhan joined the board Monday. He’ll lead the coffee giant’s annual shareholder meeting Thursday, marking his first public address as its chief executive.
“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,” Board Chair Mellody Hobson said in a statement.
Laxman Narasimhan was previously CEO of Reckitt Benckiser Group, a U.K.-based consumer health, hygiene and nutrition company. He studied mechanical engineering and holds an MBA from University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.
In a prepared statement, Narasimhan said he was humbled as he stepped into his new role. “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,” Narasimhan said.
“As I turn Starbucks over to you now, know that you have my utmost confidence, trust and love,” Howard Schultz wrote in a memo to staff. “You all are the future of Starbucks.”
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