Company elevates ‘home grown talent’ to top ranks, including promotion of Molly Liu to chief operating officer
Starbucks strengthens commitment to China as Belinda Wong, chairman of Starbucks China, focuses on long-term growth strategy, innovation and social impact in the market
SHANGHAI – Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced the promotion of Leo Tsoi to chief executive officer of Starbucks China. Serving as Starbucks China’s chief operating officer and president of Starbucks Retail for the last five years, Tsoi has led efforts to grow Starbucks footprint across the Chinese mainland to 5,200 stores across more than 200 cities today. He has engineered the development of a robust and diversified store portfolio by pioneering new store concepts, which have influenced new coffee-inspired lifestyles and further elevated third place experiences for Starbucks customers in China.
As one of the leading architects behind Starbucks China’s phenomenal growth since he rejoined the company in 2012, Tsoi previously served in various leadership positions, including vice president of North China region, chief marketing officer, and vice president of Store Development and Design, making many important contributions to strengthening Starbucks coffee leadership and elevating the Starbucks Experience.
“Leo has relentlessly pushed the envelope on innovation in China where customer loyalty and love for the Starbucks brand is unmatched,” said Kevin Johnson, president and ceo, Starbucks Coffee Company. “Our strong growth in China is a testimony to our deep bench of talented leaders and their relentless pursuit of further elevating the Starbucks Experience for our customers. I have great confidence in Leo’s ability to continue building the relationships we have with our Chinese customers through our rapidly growing store footprint, market-leading digital ecosystem and customer engagement, and robust innovation pipeline.”
With Tsoi’s promotion, Molly Liu is being elevated to chief operating officer of Starbucks China. Liu is a nine-year partner (employee) responsible for leading the development of Starbucks China’s Digital Ventures business, a leading growth engine for the company. As vice president and general manager of Digital Ventures, Liu has set the foundation for Starbucks China digital flywheel through pursuing relentless innovation and building landmark digital partnerships. Under her leadership, the Digital Ventures team has continuously up-leveled the Starbucks Rewards program while launching innovative and unique digital experiences including Starbucks Delivers (MOD), Starbucks Now (MOP), and Delivery Social Gifting, among others.
With these promotions, Belinda Wong will continue to serve as chairman of Starbucks China, focusing her attention toward delivering a holistic, long term strategy for Starbucks in the market, driving innovation through Starbucks Siren Ventures in China and other partnership opportunities, as well as elevating social impact in local communities through the Beijing Starbucks Foundation.
“Starbucks success in China today would not have been possible without Belinda’s visionary leadership over the past decade, leading the company to achieve unprecedented growth and transformation with her courage, steely determination, and deep passion for Starbucks and our partners,” said Johnson. “I look forward to continue working with Belinda as she focuses on long term strategy, innovation and leading engagement with key public and private sector stakeholders to unlock transformative opportunities for our business in this critical market.”
These appointments are effective October 1, 2021.