US coffee chain Starbucks has named FMCG specialist Laxman Narasimhan as the company’s new CEO and a member of the board.
Narasimhan will move to Seattle and work alongside interim CEO Howard Schultz from October as incoming CEO, spending time with the management team, partners and customers and gaining in-depth exposure to the brand, company culture, and Reinvention plan before his appointment takes effect on April 1.
“He is uniquely positioned to shape this work and lead the company forward with his partner-centred approach and demonstrated track record of building capabilities and driving growth in both mature and emerging markets,” said Schultz.
Narasimhan has some 30 years of experience working with global consumer-facing brands. Before joining Starbucks, Narasimhan held leadership roles at PepsiCo, including as global chief commercial officer, the CEO of PepsiCo Latin America, and the CFO of PepsiCo Americas Foods.
“His deep, hands-on experience driving strategic transformations at global consumer-facing businesses makes him the ideal choice to accelerate Starbucks growth and capture the opportunities ahead of us,” said Mellody Hobson, independent Starbucks chair.
He was also a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, where he focused on its consumer, retail and technology practices in the US, Asia and India. Most recently, he held the CEO role at multinational consumer goods company Reckitt, leading the company’s major strategic transformation and return to sustainable growth.