The American coffee giant Starbucks on Thursday, September 1, named Laxman Narasimhan as their new Chief Executive Officer. Narasimhan will join Starbucks on October 1, replacing Howard Schultz, who will continue as interim chief until April 2023.
Starbucks also announced that Narasimhan will be a member of the coffeehouse and roastery reserve's Board of directors. He will be joining Starbucks after he relocates to America from London.
"I am humbled to be joining this iconic company at such a pivotal time, as the Reinvention and investments in the partner and customer experiences position us to meet the changing demands we face today and set us up for an even stronger future," Narasimhan said about his appointment as new CEO of Starbucks.
"I look forward to working closely with Howard, the Board, and the entire leadership team - and to listening and learning from Starbucks partners - as we collectively build on this work to lead the company into its next chapter of growth and impact," he added.
With this appointment, Narasimhan joins 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.
Who is he?
Narasimhan is a veteran in leading and advising global consumer-facing brands. The 55-year-old previously was the CEO of UK-based Reckitt Benckiser, a company that also manufactures Durex condoms among other health, hygiene and nutrition products.
Reportedly, Narasimhan was the first external candidate to hold the position since company's formation in 1999.
Raised in Pune, Narasimhan graduated from the College of Engineering, Savitiribai Phule University with a degree in mechanical engineering.
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.
Laxman has worked with Mackinsey & Company and in the initial days of his career and was with them for nearly two decades. At the company he rose to being a director from location manager in New Delhi.
His profile there was to focus on comapny's consumer, retail and technology practices in the US, Asia and India and led the firm's thinking on the future of retail.
He then joined PepsiCo in 2012 and held various leadership roles including Global Chief Commercial Officer; 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 many more until his stint with them ended in 2019.
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.
According to the reports, Narasimhan will get 1.3 million dollars in annual base salary and shall get 1.6 million dollars in cash as signing bonus. Reportedly, he will also receive replacement equity grant of 9.25 million dollars to make up for incentives he forfeited by leaving Reckitt.
With agency inputs