Starbucks Names Blair Taylor Chief Community Officer

SEATTLE, May 31, 2012 - Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced it has appointed renowned community leader Blair Taylor as chief community officer. Taylor currently serves as President and CEO of the Los Angeles Urban League, an affiliate of one of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations.

“At Starbucks annual shareholders meeting in March, I reiterated the company’s long-standing belief that there is a direct relationship between Starbucks success and the strength and vitality of the communities in which we do business,” said Howard Schultz, Starbucks chairman, president and ceo. “As a distinguished community advocate and an accomplished, entrepreneurial leader in the public and private sectors, Blair’s vision, experience and innovative thinking will enhance and elevate our commitment to Starbucks mission and work in the diverse communities we serve. We are honored that Blair is joining Starbucks, particularly at this important time for our company and for the world, and look forward to the meaningful contributions he will make as we pursue new opportunities that use Starbucks scale for good.”

Taylor will report to Schultz and be a member of Starbucks Senior Leadership Team. In this newly created position, he will lead the company’s Community, Government Relations, Diversity and Global Responsibility teams. He will also serve as a member of the Starbucks Foundation Board of Directors.

Taylor is a visionary leader and coalition builder with nearly 25 years of public- and private-sector experience, including deep expertise in education, urban development, business and community empowerment. His previous experience includes working at both PepsiCo and IBM, where he held numerous brand marketing, strategy, and executive sales positions.

“I have always admired the vital role Starbucks plays in the community and its socially responsible approach to doing business, especially in these tough economic times,” said Taylor. “This is the perfect opportunity to combine my community, public and corporate experience at one organization. I am grateful for the privilege to work at such an extraordinary company and look forward to helping Starbucks continue making a meaningful difference in communities around the world.”

Taylor has led the 90-year-old Los Angeles Urban League, which focuses on education, workforce development and community advocacy, since 2005. During this period he is credited with transforming the agency through innovative nation-leading community engagement programs, such as Neighborhoods@Work™, a holistic community reform model coordinating more than 150 public- and private-sector partnerships. Taylor also initiated international relationships in business and government, including leading the country’s first high-level African American delegation to China. Within Taylor’s first few years with the agency, one of the city's most troubled high schools, Crenshaw High, achieved paradigm-shifting outcomes, including a more than 50 percent increase in graduation rates and a nearly 20 percent reduction in dropout rates.

Taylor presently serves on the Board of Trustees for Amherst College, the Board of Councilors for the University of Southern California’s Rossier School of Education, and as an appointee by U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan to the National Assessment Governing Board (NAGB). He has recently served on the Board of the California Charter School Association, and on the Boards of the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce, the Forum, the Los Angeles Civic Alliance and the KIPP Charter Schools in Los Angeles.

Taylor will be based in Seattle and start his new role at the end of July 2012.

Starbucks is committed to helping communities thrive. Among its most recent initiatives was the company’s second annual Global Month of Service in April 2012, when more than 230,000 hours of service were volunteered by Starbucks partners (employees) and customers in an effort that spanned 34 countries, 2,157 service projects and 1,120 nonprofit organizations. During that month, the Starbucks Foundation also earmarked $4 million, which was directed to 124 U.S. nonprofit organizations by partners and customers who participated in an innovative online voting process.

Other ongoing community engagement initiatives include the opening last fall of the company’s first two “Community Stores” – one in Harlem and one in Crenshaw – from which a portion of each customer transaction is directed to local education and youth development programs. And to address the jobs crisis in America, last November Starbucks and Opportunity Finance Network teamed up to launch Create Jobs for USA - a national campaign designed to help jumpstart the economy with a focus on job creation in many of America’s most underserved communities.

About Starbucks

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting the highest quality arabica coffee in the world. Today, with stores around the globe, the company is the premier roaster and retailer of specialty coffee in the world. Through our unwavering commitment to excellence and our guiding principles, we bring the unique Starbucks Experience to life for every customer through every cup. To share in the experience, please visit us in our stores or online at