Laxman Narasimhan will become Starbucks’ next chief executive officer and a member of the Starbucks Board of Directors.
Narasimhan will join Starbucks as incoming CEO on October 1, 2022 after relocating from London to the Seattle area and will work closely with Howard Schultz, interim CEO, before assuming the CEO role and joining the Board on April 1, 2023.
Narasimhan brings nearly 30 years of experience leading and advising global consumer-facing brands. Most recently, he served as chief executive officer of Reckitt, a FTSE-12 listed multinational consumer health, hygiene and nutrition company, where he led the company through a major strategic transformation and a return to sustainable growth.
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. He also served 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 & Company, where he focused on its consumer, retail and technology practices in the U.S., Asia and India and led the firm’s thinking on the future of retail.
Narasimhan is also a trustee of the Brookings Institution, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, served as a member of the UK Prime Minister’s Build Back Better Council, and is a member of Verizon’s Board of Directors. He holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering, University of Pune, India. He has an MA in German and International Studies from The Lauder Institute at The University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.
Howard Schultz will remain in the role of interim CEO during this transition period, following which he will continue as a member of the Starbucks Board of Directors. He will remain closely involved with the company’s Reinvention and act as an ongoing advisor to Narasimhan.
During the transition period, Narasimhan will spend time with Schultz and the management team, partners and customers: which will include visiting Starbucks store immersions, visiting manufacturing plants and coffee farms.