On September 7, 2022, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, left, and the new CEO Laxman Narasimhan.
Starbucks announced on Monday that Laxman Narasimhan has assumed the role of CEO, nearly two weeks sooner than anticipated.
On Thursday, he will preside over the annual shareholder meeting of the coffee behemoth and give his first public speech as CEO.
Narasimhan has spent months becoming familiar with Starbucks’ operations after being appointed the company’s new CEO in September. This includes receiving barista training. On April 1st, the formal transition was anticipated.
He served as Reckitt’s Chief Executive before being appointed, and Reckitt is the owner of brands like Lysol, Durex, and Mucinex. In the past, he had positions at McKinsey and PepsiCo.
Narasimhan succeeds Howard Schultz, who completes his third tenure in office.
In a letter to the company’s management obtained by CNBC, Schultz stated, “Today I entrust you all with Starbucks – something that holds a place in my heart, second only to that of my dear family.
Although former CEO Kevin Johnson shocked investors by announcing his retirement, Schultz made a comeback about a year ago.
This time, Schultz put the company’s repurchase program on indefinite hold, resisted barista union proposals, and unveiled a fresh approach to address the company’s shifting business needs.Although he resigned earlier than expected, Schultz is expected to testify before a Senate panel on March 29 about the company’s alleged anti-union activities.
In September, Schultz told CNBC that he would never return as Starbucks CEO.
Investors have been pressuring the company to ensure this never happens. On Thursday, shareholders will vote on a proposal by SOC Investment Group, which represents union-sponsored pension funds, that would require the Starbucks board to begin succession planning at least three years in advance.