Starbucks has named Laxman Narasimhan as CEO, effective April 1, 2023.
Starbucks has found its next chief executive — and he’s not a local guy.
Starbucks announced that Laxman Narasimhan will join the company as incoming CEO on October 1, after relocating from London to the Seattle area. Narasimhan will work closely with interim chief Howard Schultz before taking the reins and joining the board on April 1, 2023.
Most recently, Narasimhan served as the CEO of Reckitt, a multinational consumer health, hygiene and nutrition company, where he led the company through a major strategic transformation and a return to sustainable growth. (He stepped down on Sept. 1.)
Previously, Narasimhan held various leadership roles at PepsiCo, including as global chief commercial officer, where he was responsible for the company’s long-term strategy and digital capabilities. Prior to that, he was a senior partner at McKinsey.
During the transition period, Narasimhan will be fully immersed in Starbucks, spending time with Schultz and the management team, employees and customers and gaining in-depth exposure to the brand, company culture, and “reinvention” plan, the company said.
Schultz will remain in the role of interim CEO during the transition period, following which he will continue as a member of the Starbucks board,. He will remain closely involved with the company’s reinvention and act as an ongoing advisor to Narasimhan.
“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,” stated Schultz. “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.”
Schultz continued: “As I have had the opportunity to get to know him, it has become clear that he shares our passion of investing in humanity and in our commitment to our partners, customers, and communities. The perspectives he brings will be a strong asset as we build on our heritage in this new era of greater well-being.”