Starbucks Coffee Co. has named Laxman Narasimhan CEO, effective Oct. 1, 2022, succeeding interim CEO Howard Schultz, the company announced in a press release. Narashimhan will relocate from London to the Seattle area and will join the board of directors on April 1, 2023.
Narasimhan brings nearly 30 years of experience leading and advising global consumer-facing brands. Most recently, he served as CEO of Reckitt, a FTSE-12 listed multinational consumer health, hygiene and nutrition company.
During the transition period, Narasimhan will spending time with Schultz, the management team, partners and customers to gain exposure to the brand, company culture and its “Reinvention” plan. This will include Starbucks store immersions, visiting manufacturing plants and coffee farms and connecting with partners around the globe.
Schultz will remain in the role of interim CEO during the transition period, after which he will continue as a member of the board of directors. He will remain involved with the company’s Reinvention and act as an ongoing advisor.
“When I learned about Laxman’s desire to relocate, it became apparent that he is the right leader to take Starbucks into its next chapter,” Schultz said in the press release. “He is uniquely positioned to shape this work and lead the company forward with his partner-centered approach and demonstrated track record of building capabilities and driving growth in both mature and emerging markets.”
Narasimhan held various leadership roles at PepsiCo Inc., including as global chief commercial officer, as CEO of the company’s Latin America, Europe and Sub-Saharan Africa operations, and previously as the CEO of PepsiCo Latin America and the CFO of PepsiCo Americas Foods.
Prior to PepsiCo, Narasimhan was a senior partner at McKinsey & Co.
Narasimhan is also a trustee of the Brookings Institution, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a member of Verizon’s board of directors and served as a member of the U.K. Prime Minister’s Build Back Better Council.