Starbucks on Thursday named Laxman Narasimhan as its next chief executive officer.
Narasimhan most recently served as CEO of Rekit, a health and hygiene company. Reckitt owns brands such as Lysol, Durex and Mucinex. He announced early Thursday that he was stepping down from the role. He will join Starbucks in his October and learn about the company and its transformation plans before taking the top job in April.
Until then, Howard Schultz will remain interim CEO of the coffee chain he has grown into a global giant.
Schultz has been at the helm since April, when his handpicked successor, Kevin Johnson, retired after five years. Schultz returned to the company as interim CEO and his salary was just $1. Meanwhile, Schultz and the Starbucks board were looking for a long-term successor, with the company set to announce a new CEO in the fall. (The Coffee His chain revived Pumpkin Spice Latte and other Fall Menu His items on Tuesday.)
Schultz has previously said he wants to reinvent the employee, customer and store experience given the changes in the world since the pandemic. The company plans to hold an investor day in Seattle on Sept. 13 to reveal more details about the bold changes it plans to make.
Starbucks said in a press release that Schultz will continue to be “closely involved” in the plans and will serve as an advisor to Narasimhan.
Narasimhan previously served as Global Chief Commercial Officer at PepsiCo. Before he worked for a major food and beverage company, he was a senior partner at McKinsey.
As CEO, he has many challenges to tackle. In the home market, Starbucks is facing union pressure, with more than 200 of his stores in the United States voting to organize under unions. The battle has resulted in negative headlines and legal battles. Inflation has yet to affect sales but is pushing up menu prices. struggling to bounce back from the pandemic, hampered by its zero-coronavirus policy.
“His deep hands-on experience driving strategic transformation in our global consumer business will enable him to accelerate Starbucks’ growth and put us in the position to move forward,” Melody Hobson, chairman of the board of Starbucks, said in a statement. An ideal choice to seize an opportunity.