Laxman Narasimhan Appointed as the New CEO of Starbucks

By siliconindia   |   Monday, 05 September 2022, 17:38 IST
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Laxman Narasimhan Appointed as the New CEO of Starbucks

Starbucks chooses Laxaman Narasimhan to join Starbucks as the new CEO and work closely with Howard Schultz, the interim CEO, before assuming the leadership role and joining the Board on April 1, 2023

Starbucks Corp, consumer products executive Laxman Narasimhan is chosen as its next CEO after Howard Schultz temporarily took over to lead the coffee giant through rising costs, unionization pushes, and challenges overseas.

Laxman Narasimhan has served as chief executive of the maker of Lysol and Enfamil baby formula and Reckitt Benckiser Group PLC, a UK-based company, for the past three years. He stated that he would retire from Reckitt on September 30. Mr Narasimhan has also held various leadership positions at PepsiCo Inc. Through the chain's ready-to-drink coffee, Starbucks and PepsiCo have had a long-standing partnership, including an agreement made when Mr Narasimhan was the CEO of PepsiCo Latin America. Narasimhan will be relocating from London to Seattle and will join Starbucks as the new CEO on October 1, 2022.

Starbucks announced in March 2022 that then-CEO Kevin Johnson would step down, with Mr Schultz, who helped make the Seattle-based company into a global brand, taking over interim leadership. Having experienced errors in recent years, Mr Schultz has stated the company needs to change the way baristas are paid in their cafes.

As Mellody Hobson, Starbucks board chairwoman, stated in an interview, they believe they have found an exceptional candidate to become the company's next CEO. The board has asked Mr Schultz to continue as interim CEO until April 2023 to help Mr Narasimhan in becoming familiar with the company and its culture. On April 1, 2023, Mr Narasimhan will take over as CEO and join the board of the business.

Mr Schultz has twice previously handed over the CEO position but has continued to constantly monitor business issues and maintain strong relationships with company executives. Ms Hobson stated that Mr Schultz has a deep knowledge of the business in various ways, and he will continue to play a special role at the company, while Mr Narasimhan will be independent.

As Starbucks navigates a modified business environment, Mr Narasimhan will take over the world’s largest coffee chain in several areas. Starbucks was severely impacted by COVID-19 and had to temporarily close its stores. New business approaches as to-go orders had assisted in the recovery of sales to pre-pandemic levels. However, this year, increased costs have reduced Starbucks' profit margins, forcing the business to increase prices.