Coffee giant Starbucks has named Laxman Narasimhan, an Indian origin, as the new CEO on Thursday. The 55-year-old, who graduated from Pune University (now Savitribai Phule Pune University), is a veteran in leading and advising global consumer-facing brands. He was previously the CEO of UK-based Reckitt Benckiser, a multinational consumer health, hygiene and nutrition company. Starbucks, headquartered in Seattle, is the largest coffeehouse chain in the world.
Starbucks on Thursday announced that Narasimhan will be the company’s next Chief Executive Officer and a member of the Starbucks Board of Directors, a PTI report said.
Laxman Narasimhan Education
Narasimhan holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering, University of Pune. He also obtained an MA in German and International Studies from The Lauder Institute at The University of Pennsylvania. He completed MBA in Finance from The
Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania.
Narasimhan, currently in London, will be relocating to the Seattle area and will work closely with Howard Schultz, the interim CEO, before assuming the leadership role and joining the Board on April 1, 2023. Narasimhan brings nearly 30 years of experience leading and advising global consumer-facing brands.
“Known for his considerable operational expertise, he has a proven track record in developing purpose-led brands. Building on companies’ histories, he has succeeded in rallying talent to deliver on future ambitions by driving consumer-centric and digital innovations,” the Starbucks statement said, a PTI report said.
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.
Before PepsiCo, Narasimhan was a senior partner at McKinsey & Company, where he focused on its consumer, retail and technology practices in the US, 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 is uniquely positioned to shape this work and lead the company forward with his partner-centered approach and demonstrated track record of building capabilities and driving growth in both mature and emerging markets,” Schultz, who helmed Starbucks for decades said, a PTI report said.
He added that as he got the opportunity to get to know Narasimhan, it became clear that he shares the company’s passion for investing in humanity and in our commitment to our partners, customers, and communities, a PTI report said.
With his appointment on October 1, Narasimhan will join a growing list of Indian-origin CEOs at the helm of US-based global giants, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Twitter head Parag Agrawal. Indra
Nooyi had served as PepsiCo’s CEO for 12 years before stepping down in 2018.