Starbucks names new CEO – CNN

Narasimhan will become the incoming CEO of Starbucks on October 1. He will officially begin his role in April and will then also join the company’s board.

Reckitt Benckiser Group, where Narasimhan most recently served as CEO, announced earlier Thursday that he would resign.

Narasimhan steps into the role at a pivotal moment for Starbucks.

In the United States, the company is trying to fend off a wave of unionization in the United States. Meanwhile, strict Covid-19 restrictions have hurt the company’s operations in China, a crucial market.
Laxman Narasimhan will be Starbucks' new CEO.

In the six months before Narasimhan officially takes over, he will spend time with Schultz, other company leaders, employees and customers and learn about the reinvention plan recently laid out by Schultz, who has said the company needs an overhaul.

“The Starbucks business as it is built today is not set up to satisfy the evolving behaviors, needs and expectations of our partners or customers,” Schultz wrote in an open letter in July. “It is not designed for the future we aspire to for ourselves and the communities in which we serve.”
Schultz’s plan for change includes “radically improving” the employee experience and redesigning stores, he wrote at the time. The company has since made changes such as closing some stores, citing safety concerns.

Narasimhan said in a statement Thursday that he is “humbled” to join Starbucks “as the reinvention and investment in the partner and customer experiences position us to meet the changing demands we face today.”

On Thursday, Schultz said Narasimhan is the right person for the job.

“He is a strategic and transformational leader with deep experience in building powerful consumer brands,” said Schultz. “He is the leader we were looking for.”

Narasimhan’s former company, Reckitt Benckiser, is the UK-based manufacturer of several hygiene and health brands, including Durex condoms, Lysol and Mucinex. He was named CEO of the multibillion-dollar company in 2019.

This is stated by the British company in a statement Previously Thursday that “Laxman has decided for personal and family reasons to move back to the United States and has been approached about an opportunity that would allow him to live there.”

Prior to joining Reckitt Benckiser, Narasimhan held several positions PepsiCo (PEP), including global chief commercial officer. He was also a senior partner at McKinsey, with a focus on consumer and retail.

Mellody Hobson, independent chairman of Starbucks, called Narasimhan “an inspirational leader” and added that “his deep, hands-on experience driving strategic transformations in global consumer-facing businesses makes him the ideal choice.”

News of Narasimhan’s appointment comes ahead of Starbucks’ annual investor day on September 13.

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