Starbucks announces new global leadership structure to accelerate company reinvention and elevate the brand

starbucks logo on wall

CEO Laxman Narasimhan lays out new geographic leadership and global support structure

SEATTLE – Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced it will be making several leadership changes, creating a clear geographic leadership structure, supported by global functions with deep functional expertise and the ability to drive impact on a global scale. These changes will go into effect April 1.

“We are making strong progress against our Triple Shot with Two Pumps Reinvention plan,” Laxman Narasimhan, Starbucks chief executive officer, shared with global partners earlier today. “To further accelerate progress, consistent with our ambitions, we are realigning the organization to balance clear geographical focus with investing in functional capabilities to scale around the world, generating productivity and reinvigorating our partner culture.” 

Starbucks announced the following geographic ceos for the company:

  • Michael Conway will take on a newly created role of ceo, North America. Conway has been a Starbucks partner since 2013, is widely respected, and is most currently serving as group president, International and Channel Development. His deep experience in strategic planning and operational excellence, as well as his efforts to support building our brand and culture around the world make him well positioned for this new role.

Given the vital nature of her role, Sara Trilling will remain executive vice president and president, North America, focused on enhancing the retail partner experience while growing the North America store portfolio and our North America licensed store business, reporting to Conway.  Trilling remains a member of Narasimhan’s executive leadership team. 

Three out of four of the company’s new store openings are planned for outside the U.S., and Starbucks intends to grow to 55,000 stores globally as part of the company’s strategic plan.

With that context, additional regional leaders will include:

  • Brady Brewer will assume the role of ceo, Starbucks International with oversight of the teams across Asia Pacific, EMEA, Japan and LAC, as well as the company’s international licensed partners. Over his more than 20 years with Starbucks, Brewer has served in several global, regional and market-specific roles with the company around the world, including as senior vice president in Starbucks Asia Pacific, as chief operating officer of Starbucks Japan, and most recently as evp, chief marketing officer.   
  • Belinda Wong, chairwoman and co-ceo and Molly Liu, co-ceo will both continue to lead Starbucks China team, reporting to Narasimhan, as was previously the case. 

With these appointments, the company will not replace the global chief marketing position most recently occupied by Brewer. Rather, each geographic ceo will have regional marketing support while Narasimhan announced two new global positions:

  • Lyne Castonguay will join Starbucks in the newly created position of evp, chief merchant and product officer, reporting to Narasimhan. Castonguay will oversee a newly created global function focused on global product strategy, developing new products and growth platforms. She will lead both our Global Channel Development team and Siren Retail.  
  • Starbucks is an iconic global brand. Throughout its history, the brand has always nurtured the limitless possibilities of human connection- and intends to continue to do so in the future. To that end, the brand’s platforms of collaboration in the creative arts, design, architecture, fashion, publishing and music will continue to shape culture while elevating human connection. Starbucks intends to soon appoint a global brand creative leader, reporting to Narasimhan. 

“As we look to the future, the opportunity we have is truly limitless,” said Narasimhan. “Throughout our history, we have continued to reinvent not who we are or what we stand for, but what we do and how we connect with our customers and deliver our long-term aspirations. Because of our partners, and with our strategic plan and world class-leadership team, the best days of Starbucks are ahead of us.” 

About Starbucks  

Since 1971, Starbucks Coffee Company has been committed to ethically sourcing and roasting high-quality arabica coffee. Today, with more than 38,000 stores worldwide, 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 https://stories.starbucks.com or www.starbucks.com.